Definitions

What is a Smurf Attack? – Definition, History and More

Smurf Attack Definition

A Smurf Attack is a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack in which a large number of Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) packets with the victim’s fake source IP are transmitted to a computer network using a broadcast IP address.

Most devices on a network, by default, respond to this by sending a response to the source IP address.

If the number of machines on the system that receive and respond to these packages is very large, the victim’s computer will be flooded with traffic. This can slow the victim’s computer to the point where it is impossible to work on it.

The steps followed by a Smurf attack are the following:

  • First, the malware creates a network packet attached to a fake IP address; This is a technique called “impersonation.”
  • The packet contains an ICMP ping message that asks the network nodes to receive the packet to send a response back.
  • Subsequently, these responses or “echoes” are sent back to the IP addresses of the network, configuring an infinite cycle.
  • When combined with a broadcast over IP (a method that allows sending the malicious packet to all IP addresses on the network), the Smurf attack can cause a complete denial of service quickly.

History

The original smurf.c was written by Dan Moschuk, also known as TFreak.

In the late 1990s, many IP networks participated in the Smurf attacks if requested (that is, they responded to ICMP requests sent to broadcast addresses).

The name comes from the idea of very small but numerous attackers (like the smurfs), overwhelming a much larger opponent.

Today, administrators can make a network immune to such abuse; therefore, very few networks remain vulnerable to smurf attacks. A variant of this attack is the Fraggle.

How to protect yourself from Smurf Attack?

The name Smurf of this attack sounds nice, but it poses real risks if it manages to saturate the servers.

If you disable broadcasting over IP and use reliable detection tools, you can limit the probability and impact of this attack.

Here are some of the steps you can take to mitigate Smurf attacks:

  • Make sure to block the direct broadcast traffic that enters the network.
  • Configure hosts and routers to not respond to ICMP echo requests.

A variant of the Smurf attack is the Fraggle attack. This attack is the same as Smurf. But instead of sending an ICMP echo request to the direct broadcast address, it sends UDP packets. In the case of a Fraggle attack, follow the same mitigation process.

Review What is a Smurf Attack? – Definition, History and More. Cancel reply

Kamran Sharief

I write about technology, marketing and digital tips. In the past I've worked with Field Engineer, Marcom Arabia and Become.com. You can reach me at kamransharief@gmail.com

Share
Published by
Kamran Sharief

Recent Posts

Protect Yourself From Hackers In Just 3 Steps

Mark the Premonition of the expert! Cybercrime will hit the world hard and cost a… Read More

May 27, 2022

Operator Licensing Procedure in Poland

Operator Licensing Procedure in Poland Setting up an online casino Poland requires obtaining a license.… Read More

May 27, 2022

How Demand Sensing is Better than Demand Forecasting and What are the Ways to Improve Forecasting

For businesses to gain an edge over the competition, strategy makers must pick up signals… Read More

May 27, 2022

Which is the best voice to use for my Text to Speech (TTS) project?

Text-to-Speech is an advanced assistant technology that can read digital text. It reads words on… Read More

May 26, 2022

Top Prediction For Web3 & Crypto Economy For 2022

The internet has changed our lives and has brought us close together in ways we… Read More

May 25, 2022

Top 3 Qualities to Look For in Speaker Cables For Outdoor Entertainment

Top 3 Qualities to Look in Speaker Cables For Outdoor Entertainment Speaker wires are essential,… Read More

May 25, 2022