Understanding Application Layer DDoS Attacks (Layer 7)

Distributed distribution (DDoS) attacks, resulting in downtime and crashes, make websites and web applications unavailable in official traffic. In addition to the financial losses, businesses face significant loss of product image, favor, and reputation due to their high visibility. DDoS attacks are often used as smoking screens for other risky activities and attacks and, therefore, damage business profit and growth. Therefore, businesses need to have an effective way to protect DDoS to ensure continuous and consistent access to their website and web applications.


Understanding the different types of DDoS attacks

To prevent DDoS attacks, it is important for businesses to understand the different types of these possible attacks and, appropriately, choose a mitigation strategy and solution.

DDoS attacks are often the equivalent of attacks on volumetric and network levels. However, only half of the DDoS attacks are volumetric or network attacks such as UDP floods, ICMP floods, SYN floods, DNS Amplification, etc. website not available.

The other half of the DDoS attack is an app attack or Layer 7 that is usually small and silent. The attack on layer 7 reinforces the gaps, vulnerability, and/or business logic errors in the attack planning layer. This attack does not require multiple devices, packets, or bandwidth; they are usually less than 1Gbps in size. Attackers submit seemingly legitimate requests to reduce the request; usually request access to one-page load. These traits make the Layer 7 attack sneakier and more dangerous. Examples of Layer 7 attacks are Slowloris, GET / POST Floods, etc.


Most Common Layer 7 Attacks

The most common layer attack for a DDoS application is HTTP Flooding. There are 4 different categories in HTTP floods.

1. HTTP Basic Flooding:

As the name suggests, this is the simplest and most common HTTP attack. Attackers use the same list of IP addresses, user agents, and developers (less in number than volumetric attacks) to gain access to the same web page or service more often. The server could not handle the sudden flow of requests and interruptions.

2. Random HTTP floods:

In this type of HTTP flood attack, attackers use a wide range of IP addresses, random URLs / user/target agents to perform complex attacks. Here, a botnet can control many different devices that may be infected with malware and that they use to send these GET / POST requests to the server.

3. Storm overflow HTTP Floods:

These are the stages under which random flood attacks occur when attackers use various methods to override web application storage systems and force the server to use excessive bandwidth to complete applications. One example is attackers looking for unsaved content or regular dictionary searches that use server resources and cause downtime. Cache Bypass flood attacks are considered the most common.

4. WordPress XML-RPC Floods:

In this type of attack, attackers use simple WordPress interruptions of other WordPress installations as a signal to set up an Attack.

Random HTTP floods and Cache-Bypass HTTP floods are very common even in the midst of HTTP flood attacks.

5. Slowloris Attack:

This is the simplest, most common, and most deadly among DDOS layer attacks. The murder and the evils of this type of attack lie in its basic simplicity. Slow truck attacks do the opposite of volumetric attacks – instead of server attacks with multiple applications, the server is sent for slow loading (hence the name slower loris) while keeping the connection open for longer. By launching this attack, even at very low prices, the server connection pool may end up waiting to receive a full application for licenses for slow-moving loris attacks, thus, blocking the operation of other legitimate users.


Key to protection from Layer 7 attacks

As mentioned earlier, it is important but difficult to detect Layer 7 DDoS attacks due to their subtlety and they seem to be asking for legitimacy. To address these attacks, a DDoS mitigation solution should:

  • provide regular, instant protection including real-time alerts
  • allow custom rules and policies
  • include the services of certified security professionals
  • provide security analytics that should be prepared for future attacks
  • provide real-time visibility in the event of an emergency.

But many DDoS mitigation solutions tend to focus on unity in volumetric attacks and do not provide such complete protection against Layer 7 DDoS attacks.

Make sure you choose a DDoS protection service like Lectron that provides a smart and complete suite, combined with anycast to ensure your web applications are always online.

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