A DDoS attack, or distributed denial-of-service attack, is a cyberattack in which a malicious actor or group of actors exploit computer systems or networks in order to make them unavailable to their intended users. This is done by overwhelming them with requests, traffic, or messages, or by taking advantage of system vulnerabilities.

A DDoS attack involves multiple compromised computer systems (known as “bots” or “zombies”) that are made to send requests or data to a single target system. This immense influx of requests and data exhausts the resources of the target system and results in a denial of service for legitimate users.

The attackers can use a single computer to launch the attack, or enlist help from unwitting third parties by implanting malicious code into their systems or networks (known as a “botnet”). A DDoS attack can also be launched from multiple different systems spread out across the Internet, which is known as a distributed-denial of service attack.

DDoS attacks can be used for a variety of malicious purposes, including to quiet political dissidents, spread propaganda, or as a form of extortion. A major cyberattack of this type occurred in 2016, when the “Mirai” botnet was used to launch the largest DDoS attack ever seen at the time.

DDoS attacks can be mitigated by network administrators making sure a strong firewall is in place, and by implementing advanced network management features such as traffic shaping and cleaning. This can help to identify and filter malicious traffic from legitimate users, as well as help to reduce the impact of the attack.

In summary, a DDoS attack is a cyberattack that attempts to deny service to legitimate users by exploiting system vulnerabilities or by overloading a single system or network with requests. It is a malicious activity that can have a devastating effect on those it is targeted against, so it is important for individuals and organizations to take the proper security and defensive measures to protect themselves from such attacks.

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