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The 5 Motives for DDoS Attack

        posted by , March 14, 2011

Think your website is safe from DDoS? Well, it probably isn't.

It is often difficult to establish a motive for attack — DDoS inflicts damage but seldom benefits anyone.

There are five motives for DDoS attack: revenge, competition, politics, war and cloaking. Practically any organization or individual can become a DDoS target.

DDoS prevention


Revenge is perhaps the most common reason for DDoS attack. Current and ex-employees, angry customers .... anyone with a dispute may have motive for attack.

Hackers sometimes attack over minor disagreements.


DDoS has the ability to cripple company operations, damage reputation and devastate sales. In many cases it may directly benefit competitors.


DDoS has the potential to digitally silence political opposition and may be used by political groups and terrorists.

Even seemingly apolitical organizations can become targets. In 2010, Mastercard, PayPal and Visa became the targets of a DDoS attack after helping governments to cut off funding to Wikileaks.


Many governments have developed significant DDoS capabilities as a weapon of war.

Cloaking Criminal Activity

DDoS may be used as a distraction — to hide other illegal activities. In other cases, it can be used to prevent organizations from defending themselves from other types of attack (such as phishing).

Cloaking DDoS Examples (theoretical):

- A bank uses its website to warn customers of a recent series of identity thefts. The criminals respond by bring down the website with DDoS.

- Criminals bring down a bank's systems in order to cause confusion before physically robbing the bank.

- DDoS is used to bring down security systems before a break and enter.

Other Motives

Other common motives for DDoS attack include:
- pranks
- hackers interested in establishing a reputation
- tests by governments or hackers
- random attacks
- accidental attack

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