The Denial of Service Attack

Dwayne Phillips
2 min readAug 30, 2021


by Dwayne Phillips

What we saw with gas stations is known as a Denial of Service (DoS) attack. Flood a business with customers and the business fails. The scary part is that someone learned from the situation.

Back in May of 2021 (boy, that seems like a long time ago), a pipeline was closed due to hackers. For a couple of days, there was a shortage of gasoline on the east coast of the US. Gas stations had long lines and then they ran out of gas.

Was there a shortage? Maybe, maybe not. What we definitely saw at the gas stations is known as a Denial of Service (DoS) attack. Flood a business with customers, and the business fails.

Regular customers are denied service.

Consider a McDonald’s (I use them as an example as everyone knows them). Have 1,000 persons arrive between 11:45 a.m. and 12:00 noon. The lines will be out the door and down the street. The customers will be blocking traffic. Chaos.

Before the customers are served, they will be out of meat and potatoes and bread. They will make a lot of money , but half the workers will quit and leave. They will not open the next day as they won’t have any meat, potatoes, and bread. Everyone paid full price, profits were large, and the workers hated it.

Consider a gasoline station. Send 500 cars to it all at once. Yikes. Chaos. Same results. They run out of gas. Customers snarl. Workers quit. Supplies go to zero. The are not open the next day.

Who organized these Denial of Service attacks on gas stations? Perhaps no one.

Some persons, however, are learning from this. That is the scary part.



Dwayne Phillips

Engineer, computing, consulting, writing, teaching, and a few other things in an effort to make us all better and smarter.