How to Protect Your VPS from Dos, DDos, and Malware Attack

How to Protect Your VPS from DDOS Attack
How to Protect Your VPS from DDOS Attack

Why you must be ultra-conscious about your VPS (Virtual Private Server) security? How do hackers target your VPS and damage your trading system? How to Protect your VPS from Dos, DDos, and Malware attack? In this article, we’re going to be talking about the main threats to your trading infrastructure and the main precautions that you need to take to protect it.

In particular, we are going to be talking about cloud servers in this article, and I’m going to provide you with an overview of the fundamental measures to protect your infrastructure.

These measures and tips are all the product of our experience with systematic trading.

Threats to Your VPS

To protect your VPS from DDoS Attack you should subscribe to only that Cloud Server Provider that offers DDoS Security feature and you should also deploy an Internet Security Suite or Antivirus. The combination of Antivirus and Firewall might also be a solution but not very much effective.

There are mainly three kinds of threats that can damage your trading system.

The threat of Malware and Viruses

The first includes viruses and malware, which are potentially dangerous files that you can come into contact with when you use your computer.

Later on in this article, we’ll discuss that in addition to using a good antivirus suite, there are other measures you can adopt to protect yourself from this kind of threat.

For example, you should avoid downloading potentially harmful files or using your VPS or cloud server for any use other than your business.

This is the best method to limit the risk of downloading malicious files that may slow down your machine.

Dos and DDoS Attacks

The second type of threat that we’ve identified is external attacks such as DoS attacks.

Where DoS stands for “Denial of Service” and DDoS for (“Distributed Denial of Service”), which are very similar to DoS attacks but for the fact that they are “distributed.”

Brute Force Attack and Generic Vulnerabilities

The third kind is the “Brute Force” attack, which we will see in more detail later in this article.

Finally, I’d like to give you an overview of some generic vulnerabilities that may threaten your machine, such as choosing an easy password or not changing some default settings in Windows.

Doing so may be dangerous because, since these parameters are predefined, generally, they are the first targets for hackers. But let’s take a closer look at the first category.

How to Protect Your VPS from Viruses and Malware?

When it comes to viruses and malware, the first thing to do is identify the risks and the main risk is that hackers steal your sensitive data.

For example, the sensitive information that you saved in your computer, such as your bank account or trading account credentials, passwords, etc.

If you get some specific virus or malware, the information may be stolen and even sent to third parties. Another risk is that hackers may edit, delete, or encrypt your files or even format your drives.

So, it’s essential to be very careful about these types of threats.

Let’s move on to external attacks.

How to Protect your VPS from External Attacks

There are some viruses that neither corrupt your files nor steal your sensitive data but open ports in your computer to give access to hackers so that they can then remotely access your machine, take control of it, and do as they please with your computer or infrastructure.

Fortunately, there are several solutions to protect your VPS.

The best way in my knowledge is using a good Internet Security Suite. Antivirus software can provide you security, but Internet Security suites are better options as they also include antispam, firewall, anti-phishing, and anti-malware features.

In short, these suites are definitely a more complete solution. However, the combination of firewall and antivirus is also good.

How to Protect Your VPS from Infected Files?

As I’ve already mentioned before, another critical measure consists in installing and using only software that is strictly necessary for trading.

This can be of great help because, in this way, you can clearly reduce the possibility of coming into contact with infected files.

For example, it’s advisable to download only the updated version of your trading platform, the updated plug-in of your broker, and other updates from the Microsoft website.

You should also avoid using the same computer to watch movies or download emails, etc., because in doing so, there is clearly a greater chance of stumbling upon potentially dangerous or infected files.

And then, of course, avoid downloading or using any pirated or illegitimate software on your computer.

Finally, you should avoid using cloud hosting clients such as Dropbox, OneDrive, etc. because the transfer of infected files to a Remote server may take place once it reaches Dropbox or OneDrive.

Consequently, it would copy the virus or the infected file onto the remote server as for the first point we talked about.

So, we can say that any of these solutions are good enough and can serve the purpose.

How to Protect Your VPS from DoS and DDoS Attack?

As for DoS and DDoS attacks, where DoS stands for “Denial of Service” and DDoS for “Distributed Denial of Service,”.

They consist of attacks that aim to disable or make unreachable a system that provides a service to clients, such as a remote server or a data server.

These attacks consist in bombarding the target server with access requests or requests for information until this server runs out of calculation power or bandwidth to process all the requests and becomes unreachable.

The difference between DoS and DDoS attacks is that in the case of DDoS attacks, the attack doesn’t come from a single source but occurs in a distributed manner.

This means that the attack comes from several “attackers” that work simultaneously. This group of attackers is called a “botnet.”

How the botnet is created is also pretty peculiar because usually, those who plan this kind of attack first try to infect the computers that will be part of the botnet, which for this very reason will take the name of “zombies”, and then these zombies will attack the target computer, the “victim”, together.

Protection Technique

The main risk, in this case, is server unavailability, and the simplest solution, at least in our opinion, is to opt for a cloud server provider that includes DDoS protection.

By the way, it’s always up to us to investigate what kind of protection a specific service provider offers against this type of attack.

This picture shows how this type of attack works.

DoS and DDOS Attacks
DoS and DDOS Attacks

As you can see, there is a “master control computer” that infects other computers. Then, the infected computer which is called Zombie attacks other computers without their knowledge in a distributed and cross-over way.

As a result, the target computer is hit by zombie computers of the botnet, which is the victim of the attack.

As a consequence, the target will be unreachable for a certain amount of time because receiving this attack from many sources at the same time, it will be unable to process all their requests.

How to Protect Your VPS from Brute Force Attack?

The “Brute Force” attack is another type of attack. The final goal of this attack is usually completely different from the DDoS attack.

Brute force attacks are usually aimed at stealing passwords or data.

Most of the time, these attacks work by making repeated attempts, hence the name “brute force,” because hackers use brute force by trying tons of different combinations until they identify the password of the target computer or maybe of a mailbox or a file encryption system.

The goal of brute force attacks is clearly to get hold of your login credentials to your machine or server to use it for other purposes or to be able to steal data from it.

So, what are the main risks involved in this case? Well, The server’s unavailability is one of the main risks in this case. It looks very similar to a DDoS attack, although the purposes are different.

That means many access attempt requests for a prolonged time could cause the final machine to be unable to process all the requests.

Consequently, it may become unavailable or unreachable.

Another risk is that if this attack is successful, the hacker who made it could get full access to it and use it for different purposes.

Protection Technique

In this case, the best solution we could find is to use a software application to ban the IP addresses of those who try to make a certain number of authentication attempts after a certain number of these attempts fail.

For example, if I enter a wrong password three times while I’m trying to access my VPS, my IP address will be automatically banned, and the machine will no longer respond to authentication

requests from that IP. Then, after a certain number of days or months, the IP will be “unbanned,” but in the meantime,

the threat will have been blocked.

How to Protect Your VPS from Generic Setting Problem?

The third type of vulnerability consists of some “generic” settings that make it easier for hackers to access your server.

Choosing an access password that has a high level of complexity is certainly one of the best and most essential best practices in this case.

The most common passwords used that are absolutely useless against any attack are “1 2 3 4 5 6” or the word “password” itself or “1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8”.

The brute force attacks we were talking about before start from trying out a list of common passwords, and of course, it’s obvious that if your password is one of the simplest, it will be within this list of passwords, and they will try to get access to your machine using these obvious passwords.

Protection Technique

I always advise that you don’t disable the password complexity requirements from the Windows settings because this setting will make you choose a secure password for your access, which is very important.

Also, remember that changing your password often will help too because if someone were to steal your password, changing it would make it difficult for them to regain access to your machine.

Another measure that can be very useful is to avoid using common names for your computer accounts.

For example, if you use Windows, you should avoid using common names such as Administrator, which is a prebuilt user within Windows and this applies to your VPS as well.

Some services configure VPS users with names such as Root or Guest. These usernames are dangerous because since they are already present by default in Windows, attackers tend to target Windows pre-set users hoping that people didn’t change them.

For this reason, changing them makes this type of attack a bit more difficult. The same applies to standard access ports.

For Example, Windows Remote Desktop, that uses port 3389, and this port is very convenient for hackers because it’s the default port, and many people don’t change it.

However, changing this port can make a difference when it comes to defending yourself from these attacks.

Watch this video to change it quickly.

Video Tutorial to Change Windows Remote Desktop Port

Final Remarks on How to Protect Your VPS from DDOS Attack

However, adopting these small measures can help a lot.

Also, I’ve already told you that it’s always advisable to change the password quite often. You can use password complexity checker websites to determine the complexity of your password.

You can create multiple users in your system and can grant it the same privileges as the Administrator user if you want to, but obviously, call it with an unusual name.

At the end of this process, you simply disable the Administrator user you used to log in at the beginning so that it will no longer be possible to use this user with the obvious name.

And also avoid deleting your Administrator Account for future uses.

I gave you an overview of the primary measures you can adopt to protect your cloud server and trading infrastructure.

I hope you may have some understanding about How to Protect Your VPS from DoS, DDoS, and Malware Attack.