Ransom Denial of Service: What Is RDoS? How to Prevent It?

Cyber Security

Yes, you’re probably familiar with DDoS and DoS attacks. But for those who haven’t heard of the terms yet, the goal of these attacks is to put down the servers of an organization to stop them from providing service to their subscribers and clients. These attacks usually begin with the attackers sending consecutive access requests to the point that the servers crash and denying service to everyone.

Based on these popular, dubious forms of attacks, one forceful and more violent attack was conceived: Ransom Denial of Service. It has a similar concept to DDoS and DoS. It’s just that the attackers are often more assertive because they act like fraudsters.

In this article, we’ll discuss what Ransom Denial of Service is all about. We will also share ways and tips to prevent this type of attack.

What to Know About Ransom Denial of Service?

As the name suggests, Ransom Denial of Service or RDoS is a type of attack where hackers ask victims to pay a ransom amount, threatening them to send DDoS requests if they don’t get the ransom settled before a set date and time. To force or convince the victims that they are dead serious about what they are doing, they usually begin by sending a series of DDoS attacks within a set period.

In a ransomware attack, the attackers send out ransomware entities, encrypting all data present on an organization’s servers. After which, they send a note informing the victim that the data will only be encrypted once they get the money.

As for the case of an RDoS attack, the note is sent before any action is done by the attackers. It’s the attackers’ way of informing organizations that they already have access to the company’s servers. They usually ask for ransom money in the form of Bitcoin. If not transferred before a specific date, the hackers may encrypt the organization’s data.

As you can see, the RDoS brings fear to members of an organization. To avoid an attack, they end up paying up the agreed amount. But is it really the best course of action?

What to Do About RDoS Attacks?

According to experts, it is never a good thing to give in to the demands of the hackers. If you pay the amount, it’s either that the hackers will demand more or nothing happens. It may even encourage other hackers to do the same. The truth is, you will never know if a DDoS or ransomware attack is set to happen.

Now, should you leave the hackers threatening you and forcing you to pay the ransom amount they are asking? The answer is still no. What you should do is to have a strong plan that can counter their actions. Once you have a plan in place, there’s no reason to fear any sorts of attacks.

How to Prevent RDoS Attacks?

If a DDoS attack happens after you receive a ransom demand, don’t worry. As long as you are prepared, then you can handle the situation without stressing yourself out.

Although it’s not wrong to have a Disaster Recovery Plan to easily recover from an attack, know that the primary purpose is to mitigate the traffic flow to the servers or website. An hour downtime may not have a huge impact on a tiny organization’s server or a small blog. But for huge companies that handle real-time services, every second matter. So, a Response Plan should be more beneficial than a Recovery Plan.

Other ways to prevent RDoS attacks are as follows:

1. Have a Denial of Service Response Plan.

Create a Response Plan based on a careful security assessment. Unlike for smaller websites or servers, large organizations may have a more complex infrastructure requiring more teams to be involved in the planning.

Once a DDoS attack hits, you have little time to think about the course of action to take. This means you have to plan ahead to avoid serious and costly impacts.

The key elements of an effective Response Plan are as follows:

  • Systems Checklist – List all your company’s assets. Make sure you have the right tools in place.
  • Response Team – Identify the role of each member of the team and define their responsibilities. This way, you can ensure an organized reaction to the attack.
  • Escalation Procedures – Be sure every team member knows who to contact in the event of an attack.
  • List of Internal and External Contacts – Everyone should know who to call when a DDoS attack happens.

2. Make sure your network infrastructure is secure.

So, how do you ensure your network infrastructure is secure? You may have to set advanced intrusion prevention or threat management system that has anti-spam, VPN, firewalls, content filtering, and other forms of DDoS defense strategies. With these strategies in place, you can prevent a DDoS from happening.

3. Learn basic network security.

The most practical countermeasure against RDoS or DDoS attacks is to educate yourself on the basic network security practices. Observing and implementing them in an organization prevents network infrastructures from being compromised. By doing so, you don’t just prevent DDoS attacks, but you will also have a strong security foundation.

4. Be able to identify the warning signs.

The common symptoms of an RDoS or DDoS attack are intermittent server shutdowns, spotty intranet connectivity, and slow networks. Though no network is perfect, if poor performance is noticed to repeatedly occur, it is likely that you are experiencing an attack.

5. Be prepared.

RDoS attacks are real and no organization is exempted. Regardless if your organization is only a start-up or if you are already serving a vast customer base, you may be a target of these attacks. So, always be prepared. Be on the lookout for new security solutions that can give your organization complete protection against threats.

Wrapping Up

Threats in the online realm continue to develop, but so do security technologies. This means there will always be ways to prevent threats from wreaking havoc on your system or network. If you know other ways to stop RDoS attacks from happening, please feel free to share them in the comments.

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