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In computing, a denial-of-service attack or distributed denial-of-service attack is an attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users. Although the means to carry out, motives for, and targets of a DoS attack may vary, it generally consists of efforts to temporarily or indefinitely interrupt or suspend services of a host connected to the Internet. Perpetrators of DoS attacks typically target sites or services hosted on high-profile web servers such as banks, credit card payment gateways, and even root nameservers. This technique has now seen extensive use in certain games, used by server owners, or disgruntled competitors on games. Increasingly, DoS attacks have also been used as a form of resistance. DoS they say is a tool for registering dissent. Richard Stallman has stated that DoS is a form of 'Internet Street Protests’. The term is generally used relating to computer networks, but is not limited to this field; for example, it is also used in reference to CPU resource management. One common method of attack involves saturating the target machine with external communications requests, so much so that it cannot respond to legitimate traffic, or responds so slowly as to be rendered essentially unavailable. Such attacks usually lead to a server overload. In general terms, DoS attacks are implemented by either forcing the targeted computer to reset, or consuming its resources so that it can no longer provide its intended service or obstructing the communication media between the intended users and the victim so that they can no longer communicate adequately. (via Freebase)