What does distributed Denial of Service mean?
A distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is an attack on a particular server or network in which a large number (hundreds or thousands, if not into the tens and hundreds of thousands) of “zombie” computers are activated to make an attack on some network or particular server.
The method for controlling this many computers is through a virus or malware, and the attacking computer owners almost never know that their machines have been compromised and are being used as part of a DDoS attack.
Most commonly the DDoS attack occurs as all of these computers simultaneously make requests to the server or network being attacked. This serves to “freeze” the system as it is unable to process all the disparate requests.
If a DDoS attack is not extremely distributed it can sometimes be stopped by blocking the originating IP addresses. These days attacks normally involve far too many machines and IP address to make this an acceptable method to halt the attack.
Several cryptocurrency exchanges have been the victim of DDoS attacks over the past years.
Firewalls can help webmaster and network administrators avoid DDoS attacks, but not completely. Since the zombie computers are responsible for the means of attack, everyone who has a computer should also take the time to install and run some form of virus protection that keeps their computer from being infected and becoming a zombie computer.