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Detecting DoS / DDoS Attack on a Windows 2003 / 2008 Server

Question: How do I detect a DDOS (Distributed denial of service) / DOS attack on a Windows Server 2003 / 2000 / 2008? Can I use Linux netstat command syntax to detect DDoS attacks?

Answer:A denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) or distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack) is an attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users.

You can always use netstat command to get list of connections under Windows. Open command prompt by visiting Start > Run > Type "cmd" in box.

netstat is a command line utility which displays protocol statistics and current TCP/IP network connections in a system. Type the following command to see all connections:
netstat -noa

  1. n: Displays active TCP connections, however, addresses and port numbers are expressed numerically and no attempt is made to determine names.
  2. o: Displays active TCP connections and includes the process ID (PID) for each connection. You can find the application based on the PID on the Processes tab in Windows Task Manager.
  3. a: Displays all active TCP connections and the TCP and UDP ports on which the computer is listening.

You can use find command as filter to searches for a specific string of text in a file. In the following example you are filtering out port 80 traffic:
netstat -ano | find /c "80"
Find the IP address which is having maximum number of connection and block it using Cisco firewall or IPSec. Another protective measurement is to harden the TCP/IP stack.

Further readings:

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • yafrank December 9, 2008, 12:56 pm

    The -o option is not work in 2000sp4.

  • nixCraft December 9, 2008, 2:28 pm

    I’ve tested this on Windows 2003 server.

  • desis March 3, 2009, 3:06 am

    How can I detect DDOS attack of apache server linux server

  • CCcam March 26, 2009, 10:23 pm

    how to block Dos Attacks in LINux

  • Azeroth July 30, 2009, 5:04 am

    For Desis and CCcam
    look it:


    good lucky :D

  • Hamid August 28, 2010, 6:41 am

    how to block Dos Attacks in windows 2003

  • Uwe February 18, 2011, 4:29 pm

    Great information, thanks a lot! I really have to dive more into the netstat stuff.

  • Juha Jurvanen October 3, 2012, 9:30 am

    You should also keep an eye on the security auditlogs for unknown username / password attempts or have a software such as Syspeace installed to automatically handle brute force / ddos attempts on Windows servers. I know there’s a Win 2003 version coming out also for it

    Regards Juha Jurvanen
    Senior IT consultant in backup, server operations security and cloud

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