How to Protect an Apache Web Server from DDoS

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Apache or Apache HTTP Web Server is one of the most popular servers due to robust software, strong security, exceptional performance and its economical value. Also it supports several popular programming languages including Python, Perl, MySQL and PHP. Additionally, all Unix, Linux, Windows and OS operating systems support Apache.

What is a DDoS Attack?

A Denial of Service or DDoS attack is an attempt by a malicious user to make system resources unavailable. This is accomplished by sending a mass number of packets to the server causing it to overload and lock up. Hackers generally target sites like banks, root name servers and credit card payment gateways.

A frequent attack method occurs when the perpetrator externally attacks the server so that regular traffic is left with little or no response making it unavailable. This results in the computer or server being reset or the communication between users and the equipment fails.

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Preventative Measures

Luckily there are a few methods to stop these attacks. Many web hosting providers utilize a Proxy Shield that can handle a DDoS attack up to 4GB per second. This is one of the most effective security measures available to date. It is also one of the most expensive so only large corporations can afford them.

To handle smaller DDoS incidents, hardware and software firewalls will generally do the trick. These stop the DDoS attack in the initial stage so little information is lost and the equipment can function normally.

Preventative Measures for an Apache Web Server

There is a specific method to stopping a DDoS attack on an Apache Web Server called mod-evasive. This is a module configured specifically for the Apache web server that can stop even the hardest hitting DDoS attacks, can be used for traffic detection, work with firewalls and send abuse reports.

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This measure creates an internal table of IP addresses that will deny any single IP that’s blacklisted, that’s attempting to access a page numerous times or that’s launching more than 50 simultaneous connections per second from the same line. This technique eliminates attacks from a single-server attacker to a highly distributed attacker.

Mod_evasion has a built-in scaling capability with a cleanup procedure. Due to the design, only scripted attacks are recognized and blocked so that legitimate requests remain in tact and functional. A user can even click the reload button numerous times in a row and the system will identify that it isn’t a threat.

Security has been an issue in the computing industry for years. With hackers becoming more insightful with workarounds, combating their methods is proving to be more difficult. This security measure adds an extra level of protection to those utilizing an Apache server.

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One thought on “How to Protect an Apache Web Server from DDoS

  1. To run a really tight ship, you’ll want to stop users from setting up .htaccess files which can override security features you’ve configured