It’s one of the ever-present concerns of a server administrator or staff member: A DDoS attack. For some servers, a DDoS attack won’t be much of a problem. But for those who are running gaming servers, like Minecraft servers, a DDoS attack just destroys all the fun of game playing by blocking players and crashing the game.
And the sad part is, it could be done for many reasons. In some cases, it could be a banned player, who just wants his ounce of revenge. In other cases, a competing server would like to get more of the target server’s players to switch to their server.
However the case may be, the result is the same: the server could be paralyzed, and if the attack is long enough, or happens with frequency, then the server’s purpose may be a lost cause – unless the staff gets DDoS protection.
What is a DDoS Attack?
A DDoS attack is also known as a distributed denial of service (hence the acronym). It’s a data request or transfer attack on a specific target. This is normally done by sending large-volume data-requests of specific types, so that the server either is bogged down or crashes entirely. The main weapon here is a computer network, made either of custom-built PCs just for this reason, or by having a network of infected PCs around the world ready to launch a barrage of data requests on a single target.
Once these PCs attack, they can do various kinds of attacks. The simplest is to send a barrage of ping requests, which will bog down the server, and eventually crash it from the volume of requests that it has to do. Another way is to send an equally massive amount of e-mail – and the same result will happen. Finally, there’s a two stage version of this, where not only does the attacker send a barrage of data, these data packets have problems, such that the act of trying to assemble the data packets into files will probably crash the system anyway.
There’s nothing to be done in case a DDoS attack is underway: you can shut down the server, but unless the attack stops, it will still have the same problem when you boot it up again. In most scenarios, you will end up with your users denied access to your server.
How to Defend
The classic way to defend against a DDoS attack is to have another server in the traffic path to your main server, and this server will have only one mission: to protect your main server from a DDoS attack, by having filters and other applications that can pinpoint and block DoS attacks. But this sort of solution will also mean latency might become a problem for gamers.
So, the big challenge is: where can you find easy-to-use DDoS protection for game servers and Minecraft servers? The answer is simple; there is finally a company that makes DDoS protection easy, a leading provider for DDoS protection: zbode (http://zbode.com/ddos-protection.php). Do try out their server option packages, and see which fits your server’s performance best. Don’t wait until the next DDoS attack.