How the DDoS breaches cause mass disruption
A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) cyber attack is one of the most basic and common ways of bringing a website 'down' without actually hacking into it.
It occurs when far more traffic than a website can handle is deliberately sent to that website to disable public access to it. If you think of a website as a revolving door, it would be like 100 people rushing to get through it at the same time: it would stop letting people through. The result is that the website becomes inaccessible to anyone trying to visit it.
The computing power required to do this is huge. As such, it is often marshalled by the aggressor using so-called botnets, clusters of computer servers that are linked up to bombard a target with volumes of traffic it can't cope with. This is not the same type of cyber attack as a hacking attack or a data breach attempt, although it is sometimes used as a tactic to distract attention while cyber thieves get in another way. This is what happened during last year's massive TalkTalk hacking attack in Britain.
DDoS attacks are becoming very common, thanks partially to the availability of sophisticated tools online that can help perform such attacks.