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A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is a type of cyber attack that aims to overwhelm a website or server with traffic, rendering it unresponsive or unavailable to its intended users. The attacker achieves this by using a network of computers, often compromised without their owners’ knowledge, to flood the target with traffic or requests. DDoS attacks are a growing threat, and it’s essential to have measures in place to prevent them. One effective way to defend against DDoS attacks is by using Nginx as a web server and applying various techniques to mitigate the risk.


Nginx is a high-performance web server that can handle large amounts of traffic, making it an ideal solution for hosting high-traffic websites. Nginx’s design enables it to handle connection requests more efficiently than some other web servers, making it less likely to be overwhelmed by traffic spikes. Here are some techniques that you can use to prevent a DDoS attack with Nginx:





1. Limit requests

DDoS attacks rely on overwhelming the server with requests or traffic, so limiting the number of connections can help prevent an attack. Use the ‘limit_conn’ and ‘limit_req’ modules in Nginx to control the number of connections and requests from a single IP address.

2. Whitelist IP addresses

Allowing only trusted IP addresses to access your site can be an effective way to prevent a DDoS attack. Use the ‘allow’ and ‘deny’ directives in Nginx configuration files to create a whitelist of IP addresses that can access your site.

3. Use load balancing

By having multiple servers, you can distribute the load across them, making it harder for a DDoS attack to overwhelm any one server. Nginx offers load balancing functionality, and you can use it to distribute traffic across multiple servers.

4. Implement rate limiting

Implementing rate limiting can help limit the number of requests from a single IP address or a group of IP addresses, making it harder for a DDoS attack to be successful. Nginx has a ‘ngx_http_limit_req’ module that can be used to implement rate limiting.

5. Use caching

When a user accesses a website or web application, the server has to process the request, generate the response and send it back to the user. Caching can reduce the load on the server by storing frequently requested resources and serving them directly from the cache. Nginx has a built-in caching mechanism that can be used to cache frequently requested resources, reducing the load on the server.

In conclusion, DDoS attacks are a real threat that can cause significant damage to a website or server. Using Nginx as a web server and implementing the techniques mentioned in this article can help prevent a DDoS attack. While no method can guarantee 100% protection against DDoS attacks, these techniques can significantly reduce the risk and make it harder for attackers to succeed. It’s always important to stay updated on emerging threats and take measures to protect your website and server. 


Resource: Lynch, M. (2023). How to Prevent a DDoS Attack with Nginx. [online] The Tech Edvocate. Available at: https://www.thetechedvocate.org/how-to-prevent-a-ddos-attack-with-nginx/ [Accessed 23 May 2023].