Types of Attacks

A complete taxonomy of possible attacks against your IIS server is beyond the scope of this book. Attacks come in all shapes and sizes, and thus it is difficult, if not impossible, to be comprehensive.

Denial-of-Service Attacks

A denial-of-service (DoS) attack typically involves an attacker making spurious requests to a server in order to consume resources and deny legitimate users access to the service (hence, “denial of service”).

The attack could be as simple as overwhelming the server with a sufficiently large number of requests, or it could involve making requests that consume large amounts of resources (for example, invoking long-running database queries). In the former case, a single attacking machine may not have the necessary CPU or bandwidth to overwhelm a well-provisioned server; thus, the attacker may enlist the use of a large number of individual machines to attack the server simultaneously — an attack known as a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.

Privilege Escalation Attacks

A privilege escalation attack involves an attacker gaining access to, and performing actions on, resources to which they would not otherwise be permitted. Privilege escalation can involve both gaining additional permissions on a single system (for example, a regular user gaining Administrative privileges) as well as gaining access to other systems in the network to which the user wouldn't otherwise have access at all (for example, getting access to a domain controller ...

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