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Understanding DDoS Attacks

What is DDoS?  

A DDoS attack (distributed denial-of-serviceis a malicious attempt to disrupt the normal traffic of a targeted server, service or network (usually your ISP – internet service provider) by overwhelming the target with a flood of internet traffic (known as pings). A DDoS attack is like a traffic jam clogging up a highway, preventing regular traffic from arriving at its desired destination. 

How are they doing it?  

The attacker takes control of infected devices (usually infected with malware), turning each one into a bot. The attacker can then direct the bots through remote control and target a user’s IP address by sending pings to the IP address that overflow capacity. This results in a denial-of-service to normal traffic.     

What can I do to protect myself? 

  • Do not use applications that could expose your IP. Applications that use peer-to-peer networks are likely to expose your IP to everyone in your session (this can include some VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) software and online multiplayer games). 
  • Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). It is a service that encrypts your internet traffic and  
    protects your online identity. The service will redirect your connection through a remote server instead of your ISP. The VPN hides your IP address and encrypts all the data you send and receive. 
  • Avoid using Wi-Fi hotspots. Even if they are password protected and secure, hackers have many methods to intercept your internet traffic. 
  • Regularly run virus and malware scanners using trusted software. 

What to do if I'm being DDoS'd right now? 

Contact your ISP

  • The best thing to do is contact your ISP (internet service provider, such as Comcast/Verizon, etc). They will be able to generate a new IP for you.  A new IP will stop the attack, but you will need to be more vigilant in safeguarding this IP so that the attacker does not use the new IP.  

Reset your router

  • Some ISPs offer dynamic IP changes every time you reset your router. 

Report the DDoS activity

  • Report any and all DDoS activity to Mixer through the report abuse button. Mixer has zero-tolerance for DDoS’ing. We review all reports and take appropriate action, up to and including a permanent ban against the accounts used for DDoS’ing.  

Most importantly: If you ever feel your personal safety is at risk, contact your local law enforcement immediately.  

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