What is an IP stresser or booter, and how does it work?

What is an IP stresser or booter, and how does it work?

April 9, 2024 privacy 0

An IP stresser is a tool to check how robust a network or server is against DDoS attacks. IP stressers are valuable in determining if the server is able to handle increased traffic loads, but malicious actors have also found ways to exploit them. Discover how security experts use IP stressers, what benefits they can bring, and what separates an IP stresser from its malicious counterpart – an IP booter. What is an IP stresser? An IP stresser is a stress testing tool that runs a simulated distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on the targeted system. The main purpose behind this attack is to overwhelm the targeted resources with larger-than-normal amounts of online traffic. Simulated IP stresser attacks help check how well the existing server or network resources, such as bandwidth and CPU, can cope with significantly higher information loads. This stress testing tool is typically used by the network or web server administrators themselves, aiming to pinpoint the systems’ vulnerabilities. Real-life examples of IP stressers Many financial institutions and e-commerce companies use IP stressers before peak periods for financial transactions or seasonal sales. It helps to ensure that the operating systems will handle the increased loads efficiently and won’t break. Online gaming companies also regularly stress-test their game servers’ reliability and resilience against DDoS attacks. Uptime and low latency are essential for a good gaming experience, so gaming companies strive to ensure that players have continuous and uninterrupted access to their games. Agencies operating with critical resources, such as governmental institutions and telecommunication companies, also use IP stressers. Using this technique, they try to learn how resilient their network is under extreme traffic and make sure public resources are available even under strenuous circumstances. What is an IP booter? An IP booter is a malicious counterpart of an IP stresser, which runs a DDoS attack against third-party entities. IP booters often disguise themselves as software-as-a-service (SaaS) that come together with email support or tutorials. Buyers typically can choose packages for one-time or multiple attacks. Malicious actors run the IP booter attacks in disguise so the targeted networks or servers wouldn’t trace them back. They do that by using proxy servers, which reroute the booter’s connection and mask the IP address of the malicious actor. Among other things that hackers can do with your IP address is using if for reflection attacks. Attackers can fake the victim’s IP address and send requests to connect to a legitimate server of a third party. This way, hackers make legitimate servers reflect what later becomes a DDoS to the targeted victim. Real-life examples of IP booters Some of the well-known examples of IP booters include: vDOS, which launched a large number of DDoS attacks – upwards of two million – over the span of four years. Considered one of the most powerful booters, it was shut down in 2016. Lizard stresser, which was used to take websites offline for extended periods of time. This IP booter leveraged networks of thousands of hacked home routers and used them as botnets to launch DDoS attacks. Operation power off, otherwise known as Webstresser.org, was one of the largest IP booters around the globe. It has caused overload attacks on a number of banks and other financial and government institutions until it was shut down in 2018. Are IP stressers legal? IP stresses are legal if you use them against your network. They were inherently created so that various entities could check the robustness and capacity of their systems and networks. However, if someone used an IP stresser to launch a DDoS attack against a system that doesn’t belong to them, such activity would be unlawful. {SHORTCODES.blogRelatedArticles} How does an IP stresser work? An IP stresser works by enabling users to overwhelm the targeted network or system by launching a DDoS attack against it. This process helps to evaluate how well a network or system can handle increased traffic. Users can typically choose what kind of attack they want to launch on their network and how long the attack should take. What’s the difference between IP stressers, IP booters, and botnets? The main difference between IP stressers and booters is that while an IP stresser is a legal tool used by a network owner to check the system’s capacity, an IP booter is used for malicious purposes, trying to overwhelm third-party systems. IP booters often use botnets to launch DDoS attacks. A botnet is a network of computers infected with malware that the malicious actor uses to amplify the scale of the attack. What to do in case of a DDoS attack The most efficient way to mitigate DDoS attacks is to prepare for them as well as you can. This attack is recognizable by a slowed-down network or application or a complete network shutdown. If you find yourself in the center of a DDoS attack, you should: Identify the issue. Try to pinpoint the DDoS attack pattern and figure out which systems the hacker targets. Inform the data center and your ISP. Your data center and ISP can help you to reroute traffic from your network or absorb excess traffic, minimizing the attack’s effectiveness. Informing your ISP may also help them to protect other users from the same DDoS attack. Try various mitigation techniques. You can use cloud-based services to absorb large amounts of traffic or limit the number of requests your servers accept over a particular period. You can also use blackhole routing to route malicious traffic to a null route. Restore your network. Reinstate your network to its standard operating capacity. Analyze the attack. Conduct a thorough review of the attack and assess how well you were able to respond. Implement the necessary changes to strengthen your defenses against similar attacks in the future. How to avoid a DDoS attack By following these steps, you can significantly reduce your chances of becoming a victim of a DDoS attack: Use DDoS prevention methods. These include distributing traffic across multiple servers or limiting network exposure by restricting traffic. Cloud servers can also help to disperse your traffic better and increase your bandwidth. Use DDoS mitigation tools. Among the most popular are web application firewalls that can protect you against malicious HTTP traffic and adaptive monitoring tools that continuously monitor and analyze your traffic and threats such as DDoS. Beware of the warning signs. If your network’s performance drops, you notice high demand on a single endpoint, or realize that an unusual amount of traffic is coming from a specific IP address – it’s time to check if you didn’t become a target of a DDoS attack. Should you use a VPN to protect yourself from a DDoS attack? Though a VPN is a valuable tool to secure your online traffic, it wouldn’t help you against DDoS attacks if the attacker already knows your IP address. On the other hand, you can use a VPN to spoof your IP address, which hackers often use to launch DDoS attacks. When you use a VPN, you gain an IP address of the VPN server you use. This means that If hackers ever decide to launch a DDoS attack against an IP address tied to your client, they would do that against a VPN server and not your home network.

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