Linux Security
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Linux Security

IPv6 approach for TCP SYN Flood attack over VoIP, Part II

Date 29 Dec 2005
Posted By Benjamin D. Thomas
There are several general categories of DoS attacks. Some groups divide attacks into three classes: bandwidth attacks, protocol attacks, and logic attacks. Following are brief descriptions of some common types of DoS attacks.

3.1 Bandwidth attacks

Bandwidth attacks are relatively straightforward attempts to consume resources, such as network bandwidth or equipment throughput. High-data-volume attacks can consume all available bandwidth between an ISP and your site. The link fills up, and legitimate traffic slows down. Timeouts may occur, causing retransmission, generating even more traffic. An attacker can consume bandwidth by transmitting any traffic at all on your network connection. A basic flood attack might use UDP or ICMP packets to simply consume all available bandwidth. For that matter, an attack could consist of TCP or raw IP packets, as long as the traffic is routed to your network.

A simple bandwidth-consumption attack can exploit the throughput limits of servers or network equipment by focusing on high packet rates—sending large numbers of small packets. High-packet-rate attacks typically overwhelm network equipment before the traffic reaches the limit of available bandwidth. Routers, servers, and firewalls all have constraints on input-output processing, interrupt processing, CPU, and memory resources. Network equipment that reads packet headers to properly route traffic becomes stressed handling the high packet rate (pps), not the volume of the data (Mbps). In practice, denial of service is often accomplished by high packet rates, not by sheer traffic volume.

3.2 Protocol Attacks

The basic flood attack can be further refined to take advantage of the inherent design of common network protocols. These attacks do not directly exploit weaknesses in TCP/IP stacks or network applications but, instead, use the expected behavior of protocols such as TCP, UDP, and ICMP to the attacker's advantage. Examples of protocol attacks include the following:

SYN flood is an asymmetric resource starvation attack in which the attacker floods the victim with TCP SYN packets and the victim allocates resources to accept perceived incoming connections. As mentioned above, the proposed Host Identity Payload and Protocol (HIP) are designed to mitigate the effects of a SYN flood attack. Another technique, SYN Cookies is implemented in some TCP/IP stacks.

Smurf is an asymmetric reflector attack that targets a vulnerable network broadcast address with ICMP ECHO REQUEST packets and spoofs the source of the victim.

Fraggle is a variant of smurf that sends UDP packets to echo or chargen ports on broadcast addresses and spoofs the source of the victim.

3.3 Software Vulnerability Attacks

Unlike flooding and protocol attacks, which seek to consume network or state resources, logic attacks exploit vulnerabilities in network software, such as a web server, or the underlying TCP/IP stack. Some vulnerability by crafting even a single malformed packet.

Teardrop (bonk, boink) exploits TCP/IP IP stacks that do not properly handle overlapping IP fragments.

Land crafts IP packets with the source address and port set to be the same as the destination address and port.

Ping of death sends a single large ICMP ECHO REQUEST packet to the target.

Naptha is a resource-starvation attack that exploits vulnerable TCP/IP stacks using crafted TCP packets. There are many variations on these common types of attacks and many varieties of attack tools to implement them.

About the Author: Suhas A Desai

  • Undergraduate Computer Engineering Student,Walchand CE,Sangli,INDIA.

  • Previous Publications in area "Linux Based Biometrics Security with Smart Card" are include:ISA EXPO 2004,InTech Journal,TX,USA,IEEE Real Time and Embedded System symposium 2005,CA,USA.,e-Smart 2005,France.

  • Writes security newsletters and features for many security sites.


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