The morning of Jan. 22, 2016, saw many Irish government websites such as Ireland’s Central Statistics Office, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Justice fall victim to distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, which downed the websites for roughly one hour, leaving the sites unavailable from approximately 11 a.m. to around noon. The previous night, the Irish national lottery website also suffered from a similar attack. The Irish websites are unsure of the intentions of the attack as an attacker has not been found and no missing information has been discovered. As a result, connections between the two attacks have not been found.
While a primary issue with DDoS attacks is that the perpetrator is often very difficult to track down or locate, DDoS attacks are known to be relatively harmless because unlike viruses, they are not permanent. DDoS attacks typically do not involve information theft or hacking, but have occasionally signaled the beginning of potential attack in previous instances. For businesses, methods such as automated mitigation or using a third party provider are often effective. If you are experiencing DDoS from your personal computer, however, the available options are much more limited and many of the choices available to businesses are not implementable on a personal scale. Typically the best response is to wait out the attack, but if the need for immediate internet access is paramount, then contact a DDoS mitigation company.