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Ah, blockchain. This is the technology that has been revolutionizing cybersecurity industries, and has been changing every single industry it touches. This decentralized digital ledger has led to everything from the creation of Bitcoin to the creation of a smarter energy grid.
Perhaps one of the most impressive feats blockchain can accomplish is the way blockchain can fight DDoS attacks. This classic black hat hacker method has proven to be incredibly resilient against all sorts of different cybersecurity measures.
However, experts suggest that blockchain technology may signal the end of DDoS's ability to mess up our grid. Here's why...
What's a DDoS attack?
To understand how blockchain can fight DDoS attacks, you need to understand what a DDoS attack is. DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service, and it's one of the most common methods hackers use to shut down sites.
DDoS attacks are a way that hackers make certain online services unavailable by flooding them with excessive fake traffic. The traffic eats up bandwidth and resources, which in turn, causes the site to shut down. That's the basic gist of it.
Why is this so important, anyway?
DDoS attacks are one of the most common attack methods on the dark web. They are very easy to do, and most total novice hackers can end up doing them if given the right software kits. On the Dark Web, hackers sell week-long DDoS attacks for as little as $150.
These attacks can easily do thousands of dollars in damage. They are terrible for targets and have even bankrupted businesses in the past. If blockchain can fight DDoS attacks, that's a huge perk.
So, here's how DDoS attacks cause problems in most scenarios.
The reason why DDoS attacks are as harmful as they are is because they are flooding centralized systems with extra traffic. Centralized servers are supposed to absorb all the spam traffic in a DDoS attack, but the bandwidth requirements to overcome them are almost insurmountable in most cases.
That's what causes the sites and services to fail; there's never enough bandwidth in a centralized location to keep the DDoS from working.
Blockchain is decentralized...
Blockchain can fight DDoS attacks because it's decentralized—and DDoS attacks rely on a centralized server. The decentralized nature of blockchain means that it can theoretically allocate data and bandwidth to absorb DDoS attacks as they happen.
Okay, so maybe it's not as "theoretical" as we think it is. After all, this kind of defense is already being tinkered with by a company called Gladius.
What Gladius is doing might be the answer to ending DDoS attacks once and for all.
This Maryland-based company is now working on a system that allows you to rent decentralized bandwidth in order to mitigate attacks done via a DDoS-style assault. To do this, they use protection pools that are filled with unused bandwidth to mitigate attacks.
Each decentralized "protection pool" adds more bandwidth for spam DDoS traffic to use, which in turn protects the centralized data storage. With all the bandwidth being used, DDoS will cap out its maximum usage.
When the pool isn't being used, it doesn't have to be rented out. The coolest thing about this is that individuals can actually rent out their own internet bandwidth to gain money back.
The end result of this kind of system is that DDoS no longer will work. So, it's not a question of whether blockchain can fight DDoS attacks. It's already being done and is currently being beta-tested.
It's looking like blockchain might also offer up faster loading times, too.
Hate laggy websites? That might be another thing of the past thanks to blockchain technology. Gladius's system also makes it possible for companies to get faster loading times on their websites when DDoS attacks aren't happening.
DDoS protection might actually be a lot easier than we thought it'd be.
Technically, the concept that Gladius is using to make all this happen isn't that new.
The use of blockchain technology has been around for about a decade, if you take a look at when cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin first began to grow as an industry. (For the record, Bitcoin was first opened up in 2009.)
What Gladius basically did is take the concepts that made Bitcoin able to work as a currency, and used them to create a better way of loading websites in a more secure manner. More interestingly, Gladius also will be getting their own ICO as a way to promote and improve their research.
Cybersecurity experts hope to make DDoS attacks obsolete using systems like this.
DDoS attacks have been happening since the 90s and have gotten more aggressive ever since. Major firms are now even asked to pay protection money to hackers as a way to avoid a DDoS attack from them.
Should DDoS attacks become obsolete, the commercial world will see far less loss than ever before. It could literally save businesses of every size trillions of dollars per year on a global level.
It's really hard to grasp what will happen if blockchain can fight DDoS attacks the way that Gladius claims it can. We would see a lot of hacker firms go out of business.
What Gladius could mean for streaming services also is a pretty big deal.
Yes, their type of blockchain can fight DDoS attacks, but it can do so much more. This could mean better streaming service loading times, better page loading times, and even a way to avoid having ISPs throttle traffic. For the average consumer and the business owner, this form of decentralized data sharing could be a huge improvement in internet quality altogether.
It's looking like blockchain can fight DDoS attacks, and you know what that means...
It means that the time for DDoS attacks to reign supreme in the hacker world is coming to a close. It also means that streaming Netflix will be easier for most of us. Humanity can breathe a sigh of relief.