What is the difference between denial of service and distributed denial of service?

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4 Answers

Real User
Mar 9, 2022

A Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack is an attack meant to shut down a machine or network, making it inaccessible to its intended users. DoS attacks accomplish this by flooding the target with traffic, or sending it information that triggers a crash.  

A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is a malicious attempt to disrupt the normal traffic of a targeted server, service or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of Internet traffic.

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reviewer1331706 - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User
Top 5
Mar 9, 2022

I think the answers are already provided. 

DoS is e.g., one user, one host is attacking and creating a denial of service attack to a system. 

A distributed denial of service attack is when multiple users/hosts are performing a denial of service attack on a system.  

A DoS attack is easier to defend e.g. as it would be just one user, 1 IP or a system to block. 

With a DDoS, there are multiple users, systems, IPs to block, and they will also keep changing. Normally, this will be accomplished via e.g using 'zombie' systems (e.g. systems that are infected by malware and can act as a host to attack a certain site). 

Eric Rise - PeerSpot reviewer
Real User
Top 20
Mar 8, 2022


Good question. I hope to give you a very simplistic answer.

A DoS attack would be generated by a single IP or machine vs the Distributed DoS which is a multitude of hosts attacking a target from multiple IP's/ machines.

In other words, a 1 to 1 attack vs a many to 1 attack.

Again, this is very simply put. Hope this helps.


Real User
Top 5
Mar 9, 2022

A DoS attack is a denial of service attack where a computer is used to flood a server with TCP and UDP packets the target system is unable to respond to. 

A DDoS attack is where multiple systems target a single system with a DoS attack. The targeted network is then bombarded with packets from multiple locations and multiple systems are not able to respond. 

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