Amazon announced a considerable decrease in cost for some of their web services further decreasing the cost of running a website or web-based business. As the cost of server space and other web services drop precipitously it begs the question: will dedicated denial of service (DDOS) attacks eventually disappear as a result?
A DDOS attack is essentially a high-volume coordinated assault on a web property that directs enormous quantities of data requests from a website (essentially clicking the “refresh” button millions of times very quickly). The result is a total crash, or at best, a crippling slow-down of the website. This can also result in a sudden surge in cost for running the website – more traffic requires more server space, which costs more money. When conducted with high intensity, this can lead to considerable direct costs, and even larger indirect costs i.e. lost business, etc.
My expectation is that as cloud computing becomes more accessible while also decreasing in overall cost, such attacks will become less worthwhile from the attacker’s perspective. I believe, that a DDOS attack simply won’t achieve results that are so significant once the ‘elastic’ cloud-servers can rapidly accommodate surges in traffic to such a high level, and the cost has fallen considerably.
This leads me to believe that the future of cybercrime and ‘hacktivism’ will more likely tilt towards more sophisticated attacks involving more deliberate action. I am certainly interested to see where the decreasing cost and increasing availability of web services takes us.
*** A quick amendment/addition: courtesy of Geoff Matheson — for the sake of brevity I didn’t mention that of course a DDOS attack can be used to mask other activities as both a smoke-screen or as a simple distraction. Thanks Geoff, for the follow and for the note! ***