A transport layer communication protocol, UDP is a very common protocol for voice and video traffic.

Common DDoS Attacks
DDoS Attack Tools
DDoS Glossary of Terms


Learning Objectives

After reading this article you will be able to:

  • Define UDP/IP

What is User Datagram Protocol (UDP/IP)?

UDP is a communication protocol operating at the transport layer of the protocol stack. Like TCP, the UDP protocol also runs on top of the IP protocol, and may be referred to as UDP/IP. UDP is a connectionless transmission model and does not require a stateful connection between the source and the target device. As a result, UDP doesn’t have the error checking and ordering functionality of TCP and is best utilized when error checking is not needed and speed is important. UDP is commonly used in time-sensitive communications where dropping packets is better than waiting. Voice and video traffic are sent using this protocol because they are both time sensitive and designed to handle some level of loss. Similarly, because DNS and NTP servers both need to be fast and efficient, they operate though UDP. Volumetric DDoS attacks including DNS amplification and NTP amplification make use of these servers with the aim of flooding a target with UDP traffic.