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The Difference Between Legitimate Visitors And Bots In Complicated Instances To Root Out A DDoS Attack

Everyone understands it can be difficult to fix those errors which are made during the design phase of any new product (especially software and applications). Those errors are to be detected through quality assurance and fixing them can protect digital products. Apart from apps, electronic servers and digital services are prone to online attacks.

These online attacks also have DDoS attacks as part of their arsenal. This indicates that these aspects of digital products need to be detected early so that companies can make them strong and resistant to online attacks.

It is quite important to define the signs, clearly, for identifying legitimate requests and visitors so the DDoS protection software and services can determine the attack in its initiation and protect the site/server/web app/application from illegitimate requests.

This is the very reason each company involved in the creation of technological products should understand how DDoS protection software works, thinks, acts, and performs. It also ensures that this very software can detect and overcome bad bots effectively.

It is also important for websites and web apps using HTTP services to go for HTTPS and UDP services. HTTP is outdated and is also insecure.

A DDoS protection system – what is it?

Generally speaking, a DDoS protection system can be properly described by the way it works and the way it detects bogus requests. It basically works as a DNS DDoS protection system protecting networks, apps, software, and servers from DDoS attacks and other forms of online attacks.

These protection systems check incoming requests, headers in use, modus operandi of attacks, how intense the methods are, and the like.

Based on these descriptions, a normal interaction model can be made where all requests made to the software by different visitors and customers are compared. In case the observation shows that legitimate requests outnumber bogus ones, there can be a bit of a problem detecting the activities of bots.

Can we have an example of such?

At one time, a financial services company based in Charlotte with offices across both the United States and Canada once detected a suspicious line of requests to its fintech service application. The request flow was normal at 700 per second but in an instant, it spiked up to 22,000 per second. Interestingly, 300 requests per second arrived from various sources and addresses. Each one of them received Error 401 Unauthorized Response error messages. It means access was denied to these requests.

A DDoS attack was the suspected case in the beginning. The company started blocking them but since the app was run together in partnership with a local tech company having a good reputation, the bank had to block out legitimate requests and issued a downtime notice later on. Services were restored eventually but the mechanism to stop the attack had downed the service temporarily.

The situation explains that the app was operated by both the financial services provider and technology company, as the former is the latter’s client. The tech company detected a sudden unusual traffic movement which raised the number of requests beyond normal margins. Being the helper of a financial services provider, the tech company had to do what was necessary.

What was surprising is that if the tech company and the financial service provider considered the surge in requests as normal, then they would not be able to counter a DDoS attack. To counter the DDoS attack, they had to stop all requests until and unless they could filter out the bogus ones. Then again, they managed to counter the DDoS attack.

Real vs bogus visitors and bots – an overview

Real visitors are those who do not send multiple requests from the same server and who do not use multiple devices to access fintech and other financial services apps and platforms. They only have a few trusted devices which are registered with the financial services company and only approve legitimately if they do so.

In case a customer believes they are being scammed, they immediately contact the financial services provider to ensure their accounts are safe and sound.

Bogus customers are generated by bots and botnets. The latter is a device network used by hackers with bogus accounts, connected to a main computer. However, to obtain access to a financial services provider app, the hacker needs to have a legitimate account or steal credentials to access it.


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