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What is Smurf Attack & How to Prevent it

A smurf attack is a kind of attack where attacker generates an uncontrolled amount of traffic into victims network. A smurf attack is mainly targeting networks where routers are configured in a way to respond to ping packets. By pinging the broadcast address of victim network, attacker ensures a huge amount of packet flow from hosts connected to the network by responding to the ping request. Let us check the procedure to conduct a Smurf attack.

Smurf attack Procedure

  1. Spoof the IP address of attacker to avoid detection

  2. Find the broadcast address of the victim network

  3. Send huge amount of ICMP request to the broadcast address of the victim network(Directed Broadcast Address).

  4. The ICMP request reaches the gateway of the victim network.

  5. Each host on the victim network responds to the ICMP request. This process amplifying the ping requests send by the attacker.

  6. Ping response from hosts creates an uncontrollable amount of traffic in victim's network.

  7. It will consume the useful bandwidth of the server. It is enough to down the server for a limited period of time

How to prevent smurf attack

We can prevent Smurf attack by carefully designing our networks. Important points to remember while configuring a network to prevent Smurf attack are listed below.

  1. Configure individual hosts and routers to not respond ping requests and broadcasts

  2. Configure routers not to forward packets directed to broadcast addresses.

Related Topics

1. Denial of Service (DOS) attacks Tutorial

2. netstat - a command line tool

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Anonymous said…
Can you tell step by step instructions to conduct smurf attack

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Alex George
Alex George has Engineering graduation in Computer Science and an MBA in Finance. He had been working as a senior Network Engineer for ten years. His specialization is in Cisco products. Traveling is one of his hobbies and visited various places as part of his onsite work. He visited different places as part of his onsite work like New York, Dubai, London, etc. Right now Alex is a director of one of the leading career development firms in India, which trains students for UPSC, SSC, and PSC examinations. He guides a lot of students to get selection for various prestigious institutions like CBI, Income Tax Department, etc. Alex George is a stock market investor and a very active intraday trader. Engineering Background: He has a B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering and passed different network and security courses like CCNA, CCNP (Security), CEH, and various Microsoft certifications. Finance Background: Alex has an MBA in Finance. He is an active intraday trader and a Share Market Investor. Webmaster Skills: Alex is a blogger since 2004. He has a working knowledge of HTML, CSS, PHP, and JavaScrip.