In a very broad terminology:

I understand Application Layer Denial of Service (ALDoS) to be a 1 machine on 1 machine attack.

I understand Distributed Denial of Service DDoS (DDoS) to be a 2 or more machines on one machine attack (usually a thousand machines attack one machine).

If we go broad enough, even operating systems are computer applications.

These are my conclusions as a non IS expert who tried to read and listen to conversations. I might misunderstood anything but I just want to know if this broad distinction is enough accurate.

2 Answers 2


Distributed Denial of Service Attacks could be on the application layer (and thus also Application Layer Denial of Service Attacks) but they are usually not. Most DDoS attacks are at the network and transport layer, i.e. they saturate bandwidth or they exhaust resources of the target system like in case of SYN floods.

  • I feel I confused "Non Distributed Denial of Service (NDDoS) with ALDoS. Thanks. Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 22:30
  • @user9303970: I'm not sure what your last comment refers to. But there are application level attacks where a single attacker is enough, i.e. you don't need a distributed attack. Examples are Apache Range Header or Hash DoS. Commented Apr 18, 2018 at 3:29

A DDoS can be a specific instance of an ALDoS, where many machines perform an ALDoS in a distributed fashion, sure. But DDoS attacks are not exclusively ALDoS. A DDoS attack could instead take place at the network layer (ICMP flood) or transport layer (TCP SYN flood), for example.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .