The weapon of choice for many hacktivists is the distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attack. In essence, multiple users flood a server with so much traffic that it collapses under the load taking the Web site with it. It’s easy enough to understand, but a visual representation would really sell the awesome might of this particular form of online attack.
We now have that visual representation courtesy of Ludovic Fauvet. He says that his Web site, VideoLAN, experienced a massive DDoS attack on April 23. He was able to capture what the attack looked like in real time:
What’s great about this video is that it shows the number of requests hitting the other parts of the site at the same time. As thousands of requests are hitting the ‘Misc” section of the site, you see maybe 20 hit the “Images” section.
Thankfully, DDoS attacks rarely cause lasting damage. The Web site is usually back up and operational after that attack subsides. Still, it’s awe inspiring to see this much power being conveyed over the Internet.