Dedicated Server Security Threats: Part 1

Lurking around every corner is a potential threat to your server.  If your server is to survive threats to its security, you have to prepare it and harden its protective safeguards.  The following are just a few of the threats that you should be aware of and be able to prevent or fight.

1. Botnet – These little buggers are automated and deadly.  They can infect servers without making themselves known and then use the servers to attack others.  Because of this, botnets are commonly used in DoS attacks.

2.  DoS – A denial of service (DoS) attack is one that attempts to bring down your server by inundating it with traffic.  The traffic can come in many forms, from pings to HTTP requests, but the end goal is always the same.  A DDoS (distributed denial of service) is a coordinated attack launched from multiple computers, often automated by bots or other malware.

3. Cross-site scripting (XSS)- This type of attack relies on vulnerabilities in your web applications, usually those that use common scripting languages.  An attack can be used to steal user data or do damage to the server itself.

4. Open Relay – An easily fixed security problem, an open relay is when your SMTP mail server allows anyone to access it and send mail.  Spammers love these and have tools to search for them.

5. Brute Force Attack – The point of this attack is to gain root access to the server.  Usually attackers will use some form of password-guessing software, making weak passwords especially vulnerable.