DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. Sounds ugly, doesn't it? And it sure is. A DDoS attack is one of the nastiest tactics in a hacker's toolbox. Mostly because there is hardly any protection for it, and anything hosted on the web is fair game. This is a direct result of how the Internet is constructed, at its core, and so without a complete re-design, we're sort of stuck with it.
A Distributed Denial of Service attack is executed by flooding a website with requests. Imagine visiting a website in your browser and manically hitting the refresh button. Again and again and again. Now imagine doing this with 10.000 computers connected to the same website, doing the same thing, hitting refresh hundreds of times per second. Something's gotta give.
The problem with web servers is that they either serve everyone or nobody at all. If a server is able to handle 100 requests per second, and it gets 101... It denies all service to everyone. It has a democratic ring to it, but it poses a huge problem in network security. Any hacker can target any website. It isn't like common computer virus infections, where an unsuspected victim at least has to accept and open a file, image or email attachment.
By utilizing sophisticated firewalls and technologies that shut off parts of our network to the outside world in case of massive overloads, we have a few tricks up our sleeve in case of a DDoS attack. We won't elaborate any further, nor can we guarantee that we can't get severely suffer from a large scale attack. But we have faced and quickly overcome 1 TB/ second DDoS attacks in the past and we are keeping ever vigilant!