Understand: Fork Bombing Attack

    Date08 Jun 2010
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Thanks to Anand Jahagirdar for this feature!

    As the variety of attacks and threats grow, you need to be prepared. In this HOWTO, get a feeling for the Fork Bombing Attack, what it is, how it works, where it comes from, how to deal with it and more.

    Fork Bombing:

    Eckie S.

    Fork bombing means invoking fork system call infinite times by one or more processes.
    It is also defined as Spawning nearly infinite processes by one or more user processes.

    E.g. Simple C Loop *: -
    while (1) fork ();

    It spawns infinite processes which in turn lead to fork bombing.

    Fork bombing attack is usually done by a non root user. For example, a non root user, as
    an attacker, sends infinite requests to the server for denial of service.

    Another example of fork bombing attack is a simple loop

    *: - main () {fork() main () ;}

    In this case main function calls itself recursively. This loop can make the system crawl.

    (* warning: - execute both the loop at your own risk).


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