Difference Between DoS and DDoS

Technological advancements over the past decades have made the internet a common word today. Big bulky computers are not a requisite for accessing the internet in the present times. What one needs is just a quirky smartphone and a stable data subscription.


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Our computer uses the Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)  to connect to the internet. However, certain flaws of this protocol make it an accessible attraction for infiltrators from the dark web.

Key Takeaways

  1. DoS (Denial of Service) attacks involve overwhelming a target system or network with excessive traffic or requests, rendering it unusable; DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks use multiple connected devices to launch a coordinated assault on the target.
  2. DoS attacks originate from a single source; DDoS attacks use a network of compromised devices, a botnet, to amplify the attack.
  3. Both DoS and DDoS attacks disrupt online services and can cause significant damage to businesses. Still, DDoS attacks are generally more powerful and harder to mitigate due to their distributed nature.

DoS vs DDoS

The difference between DoS and DDoS is that a single computer attack a website in the case of DoS. On the other hand, the attack is coordinated by many computers in the case of DDoS.

DoS vs DDoS

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DoS and DDoS are malicious attacks on a website by unethical hackers. Although considered the same, they have significant differences.

DoS is a cyber attack that impedes the connection to a website by using infected software. This software blocks the incoming traffic to the site and makes it unavailable.

DDoS is a hazardous cyber attack in which a hacker mobilizes several computers to impede the connection to a website. The website subsequently crashes under such an unprecedented connection load.


Comparison Table

Parameter Of ComparisonDoSDDoS
DefinitionDoS stands for Denial of Service attack. It is used to crash a website by transferring a load of access requests from a computer.DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service attack. It is also used to crash a website and make it unavailable.
Facilitated ByDoS attack is reduced by using a single system.DDoS attack is facilitated by using multiple systems.
SeverityDoS attack is considered less severe.DDoS attack is a very severe attack.
Speed of AttackThe speed of a DoS attack is slow.The DDoS attack has a quick speed.
DetectionA DoS attack can be easily detected by identifying the IP address of the attacking computer.A DDoS attack is difficult to detect as many computers attack the site simultaneously.


What is DoS?

DoS stands for Denial of Service. It is a cyber attack hosted by a single computer. The primary intentions of this attack are either crashing a site or flooding it. A DoS attack renders the server/host unavailable, so other users cannot access the site.

One of the earliest major DoS attacks was on an Internet Service Provider ( ISP ), Panix, on September 6, 1996.

The hackers use many techniques for a DoS attack. These are :

  1. Initiation of a packet influx on the site’s IP address
  2. Depletion of the server connection bandwidth
  3. Hacking of shared hardware resources

A server or computer system will show the following symptoms in case of a DoS attack :

  1. A slow network connection rate
  2. Unavailability of the website
  3. Error messages showing Denial of Access

However, a DoS attack can be prevented by employing the following measures :

  1. Blocking the accessibility permissions of illegitimate IP addresses
  2. Changing the configuration of system servers

What is DDoS?

DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. It is a cyber attack hosted by multiple computers. It is a type of DoS attack. The primary intentions of this attack are to make a site inoperable or extort money.

In this attack, the hacker uses multiple zombie computers. These computers are called botnets, leading to a packet influx on the site’s IP address.

One of the earliest DDoS attacks took place in August 1999. The victim was the University of Minnesota network.

The hackers use many illicit techniques for a DDoS attack. These are :

  1. Application attacks
  2. Server protocol attacks
  3. Traffic-volume based attacks

A server or computer system will show the following symptoms in case of a DDoS attack :

  1. A flood of spam emails
  2. Frequent internet disconnections
  3. Locking of the system

The following measures can prevent a potential DDoS attack :

  1. Scrutinizing unusual traffic surge
  2. Configuration of connection settings to deny access to half-open networks

Main Differences Between DoS and DDoS

Malware and phishing attacks on websites have become frequent nowadays. DoS and DDoS are two such attacks.

DDoS is a type of DoS attack. However, they are very different in attack techniques and severity. The main differences between the two are :

  1. A DoS attack is initiated by a single computer, whereas multiple computers start a DDoS attack.
  2. In a DoS attack, packet influx occurs from a single IP address. On the other hand, in a DDoS attack, packet influx occurs from multiple IP addresses.
  3. A DoS attack is less harmful, whereas a DDoS attack harms a system.
  4. A DoS attack is characterized by slow speed, whereas a DDoS attack is characterized by high speed.
  5. A DoS attack is easy to detect and prevent. On the other hand, a DDoS attack is hard to detect and prevent.
Difference Between DoS and DDoS
  1. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1208.0952
  2. https://computerresearch.org/index.php/computer/article/view/1081
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