What is a Botnet?
A Botnet is a collection of compromised computers that are under the control of a third party. The owners of the compromised computers are generally unaware that someone (a Bot-master) has control of certain functions on their machine.
What can a Botnet do?
Botnets are used to send or relay SPAM, collect personal information from the infected computer or used to attack another server or website. When used to attack another website this is called a Denial of Service attack or Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS).
How big are Botnets?
Botnets can range in size from a few computers to several hundred thousand and a few very large botnets have been discovered in the millions.
How can they affect me?
A large Botnet, used in a DDoS attack on your website, will overload your server to a point, where it will appear as if it's down or unreachable.
How can I defend my website against a DDoS attack?
To truly stop any and all DDoS attacks it is very expensive and requires multiple large uplinks to the Internet with at least 2X 10Gb/sec connections. Then you need some purpose built hardware that can handle the volume; you are looking at 75K-300K for this hardware. Once you have all this in place, you better know how it all works and have some experienced engineers to operate it all.
As you can see from the above example, it is really not feasible for most websites to own and operate a half decent DDoS protection strategy. The best way to protect your website is to engage a DDoS Protection service.
How do I choose a good DDoS protection service?
There are a number of services out there available today and prices range from $50.00/month to $7,000.00/month. They all make claims of their capabilities, and at a glance you may be tempted to go with the $200.00/month solution. Choose one that fits your website's importance; obviously there is a difference between the service and protection level offered, when comparing a $200.00/month service and a $7,000.00/month service.
Key questions to ask when shopping around for a DDoS protection service.
- Is there an SLA?
- Are they a leader or specialist in the DDoS protection arena? Many web companies offering DDoS protection sell 5 or 10 other services. Ask yourself, how good can they be at all 10?
- Do they offer online, real-time reporting so you can see for yourself how big and what type of attack is ongoing?
If it's too good to be true, it's not true!!!
One such service that meets the above requirements is DOSarrest.com