Are DDoS Attacks Illegal

Are DDoS Attacks Illegal?

6 mins

There’s been a lot of talks lately about DDoS attacks and their legality. But what does that actually mean? Are they illegal?

Yes, DDoS attacks are illegal. Depending on the severity of the attack and the damage that is caused, you could receive a prison sentence, a fine, or both.

In the U.S., for example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) classifies DDoS attacks as “cyber extortion” and they can be punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) also makes it illegal to intentionally access a computer without authorization or exceed authorized access, which could be applied to individuals involved in DDoS attacks.

What Is DDoS Attacks and How Does It Work?

DDoS Attacks. Distributed denial-of-service attacks are a type of DoS attack where multiple compromised systems are used to target a single system. Often, botnets are used in DDoS attacks.

A botnet is a network of malware-infected computers and other devices that can be controlled remotely by an attacker. The compromised systems in a botnet can be used to launch DDoS attacks without the knowledge or consent of their owners.

  • One common type of DDoS attack is the ICMP flood. This attack involves flooding the target system with ICMP echo request (ping) packets. The target system becomes overwhelmed and is unable to process legitimate requests, resulting in a denial of service for legitimate users.
  • Another common type of DDoS attack is the SYN flood. This attack exploits a flaw in the way that many systems handle TCP connections. The attacker sends numerous SYN packets to the victim but never completes the three-way handshake required to establish a connection.

As a result, the victim’s system becomes overloaded and is unable to process legitimate connection requests. DDoS attacks can be devastating, and they are becoming increasingly common as malicious actors look for new ways to disrupt online services.

Are DDoS Attacks Traceable?

As you know now, there are many different types of DDoS attacks, and each one leaves behind a unique footprint. This makes it possible for security experts to trace the attack back to the source. In some cases, the attacker might even leave behind identifying information that can be used to track them down.

However, it’s important to note that not all DDoS attacks are traceable. Some attackers take steps to cover their tracks, making it difficult or impossible to determine where the attack came from.

Additionally, some types of attacks are more difficult to trace than others. For example, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that use botnets are notoriously hard to track down because they involve so many different computers spread across the globe.

If you’re a victim of a DDoS attack, your best bet is to contact a professional security firm that specializes in this type of thing. They will have the tools and expertise necessary to properly investigate the attack and help you protect against future ones.

Are DDoS Attacks Illegal?

The DDoS legality is a complicated issue. DDoS attacks are a type of cyber attack in which the attacker attempts to overload a server with requests, causing the server to crash and become unavailable.


While DDoS attacks are not technically illegal, they can often result in significant damage to the victim’s website or network.

In some cases, DDoS attacks can even be used as a form of blackmail, with the attacker demanding payment in exchange for stopping the attack.

As a result, DDoS attacks are often considered a serious crime, and those who engage in them can face significant legal penalties.

However, there is still some debate over whether or not DDoS attacks should be considered illegal, as they can sometimes be used for legitimate purposes, such as testing a server’s ability to withstand high traffic levels.

Which Countries Consider DDoS Illegal?

l? DDoS, or Distributed Denial of Service, is a type of cyber attack that attempts to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources.

The goal is to disrupt the normal flow of traffic so that legitimate users are unable to access the service. While some countries consider DDoS illegal and some don’t.

Here’s a breakdown of which countries consider DDoS illegal and what you can expect if you are caught carrying out a DDoS attack.

In the United States, DDoS attacks are considered a type of computer crime. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act outlaws any attempts to “intentionally cause damage or loss” through the use of computers.

This means that anyone who carries out a DDoS attack can be prosecuted under federal law. If convicted, they could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

In addition, many states have their own laws against DDoS attacks. For example, California makes it a crime to “knowingly and without permission disrupt or cause the disruption of computer services.”

This means that even if you don’t live in the US, you could still be prosecuted if you carry out a DDoS attack against a US-based target.

Not all countries have laws specifically outlawing DDoS attacks. However, this doesn’t mean that there are no consequences for carrying out such an attack.

In many cases, the target of a DDoS attack can take civil action against the attacker. This could result in the attacker having to pay damages to the victim. 

In some cases, police may also get involved. For example, in the UK, police have arrested individuals suspected of carrying out DDoS attacks as part of an ongoing investigation into so-called “hacktivism.”

So even if your country doesn’t have laws against DDoS attacks, you could still end up in hot water if you carry out such an attack.

As you can see, there can be serious consequences for carrying out a DDoS attack, even if your country doesn’t specifically consider it illegal.

What is the Punishment for DDoSing?

DDoS attacks are a type of cyberattack in which a malicious actor attempts to overload a system with traffic in order to disrupt service.


Although DDoSing is often used as a form of protesting or online warfare, it can also be used for criminal purposes such as extortion.

In many jurisdictions, DDoSing is considered a form of fraud and can be punishable by law. The severity of the punishment depends on the intention of the attacker and the damage caused by the attack.

For example, if an attacker DDoSes a website in order to extort money from the owner, they may be charged with felony extortion.
However, if the attack does not result in any financial loss, the attacker may only be charged with a misdemeanor. In either case, DDoSing is a serious offense that can lead to steep fines and jail time.

How Can You Protect Yourself From DDoS Attack?

A DDoS attack can be defined as an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with internet traffic from multiple sources.

It is one of the most common types of cyber-attack and can be devastating for businesses who rely on their website or other online services to function.

There are a number of steps that you can take to protect yourself from a DDoS attack, including:

Step-1. Use a Reputable and Secure Hosting Provider

This is important as your hosting provider will have systems in place to mitigate DDoS attacks. They will also be able to provide you with advice on how to best protect your website or online service.

Step-2. Keep Your Software up To Date

Another way to protect yourself from a DDoS attack is to ensure that all the software you are using is up to date. This includes things like your operating system, web server, and content management system.

Outdated software can often contain security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers.

Step-3. Implement Security Measures

There are a number of security measures that you can implement which will help to protect your website or online service from a DDoS attack. These include rate limiting, firewalls, and Denial-of-Service protection systems.

Step-4. Monitor Your Network Traffic

It is also important to monitor your network traffic for signs of a DDoS attack. This can help you to identify an attack early so that you can take action to mitigate it.

Step-5. Be prepared

Finally, it is always important to be prepared for a DDoS attack. This means having a plan in place for how you will respond to an attack and ensuring that all your staff is aware of this plan.

By taking these steps, you can help to protect yourself from a DDoS attack and minimize the impact it has on your business.

Final Thoughts

DDoS attacks are a type of Denial of Service attack that is launched against a target by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources. These attacks can be very disruptive and can take a site offline for extended periods of time.

The fact is, that DDoS attacks can be difficult to prosecute and even harder to prevent, but there are steps you can take to protect your business from these devastating online assaults.

Implementing a good security protocol and working with an experienced managed security service provider are two essential steps in safeguarding your company against DDoS attacks.


Michael Fied

founder of and SpamBurner

Michael Fied is the founder and CEO of and SpamBurner. In addition, he’s an internationally top-rated and award-winning website advisor and website architect with a global team of 55. You can find Michael on LinkedIn or contact him directly here.

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