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Anti-Malware : ESET Smart Security
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What is Smurf Attack
The Smurf attack is a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack in which large numbers of Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) packets with the intended victim's spoofed source IP are broadcast to a computer network using an IP broadcast address. The Smurf program accomplishes this by exploiting vulnerabilities of the Internet Protocol (IP) and Internet Control Message Protocols (ICMP).
In a Smurf Attack, ICMP ECHO_REQUEST packets are sent to the broadcast address of a network. Depending on how hosts are configured on the network, some may attempt to reply to the ECHO_REQUEST. The resulting flood of responses may degrade the performance of the network, particularly at the destination host.
With Smurf attack, there are usually three parties involved—the attacker who generates the original request; an intermediary, sometimes called a reflector or multiplier, that delivers the packet onto the network; and the victim. The attacker uses a forged source address so that the ECHO_REPLY packets are returned, not to the attacker, but to a "spoofed" address, i.e., the victim. The intermediary may be either a router or a compromised host on the destination network.
Here's How a Smurf attack works:
- First the Smurf malware builds a spoofed packet that has its source address set to the real IP address of the targeted victim.
- The packet is then sent to an IP broadcast address of a router or firewall, which in turn sends requests to every host device address inside the broadcasting network, increasing the number of requests by the number of networked devices on the network.
- Each device inside the network receives the request from the broadcaster and then responds to the spoofed address of the target with an ICMP Echo Reply packet.
- The target victim then receives a deluge of ICMP Echo Reply packets, potentially becoming overwhelmed and resulting in denial-of-service to legitimate traffic.
This attack vector is generally considered a solved vulnerability and is no longer prevalent. A simple solution is to disable IP broadcasting addresses at each network router and firewall. Older routers are likely to enable broadcasting by default, while newer routers will likely already have it disabled.
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