Internet Protocol is very big and keeping it secure can be difficult, especially at the user level. The IPv4 has been prone to many attacks, especially DoS (Denial of Service) attacks. One of the DoS attacks that have been famously used by hackers is the Ping of Death (PoD).
The Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) is the usual protocol used in the ping of death attacks (Ping of death in IPv6 & IPv4).
What is the ping of death?
Ping of Death is a type of Denial-of-Service attack. In this attack, the targeted computer or service crashes or destabilizes or freezes after the attacker sends oversized packets through a ping command. in which an attacker attempts to crash, destabilize, or freeze the targeted computer or service by sending (Ping of death in IPv6 & IPv4).
A typical ping packet size is 56 bytes or 64 bytes in case an ICMP header is considered. Some computers may not be able to handle an IPv4 packet that is larger than 65,535 bytes, as they were not designed that way. In a ping of death, the transmission of a large packet is done in fragments of groups of 8 octets. When this happens, a buffer overflow occurs which causes a system crash, when this happens, malicious code is inserted (Ping of death in IPv6 & IPv4).
This bug is one that could affect many systems like Unix, Linux, Mac, Windows, and more devices. Ping of death was later preceded by ping flooding, where devices are flooded by numerous ping requests, that pushes the normal traffic away and fails to reach the intended devices.
What is a ping flood attack?
An Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) flood attack or a Ping flood attack, is a very common Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack, where ICMP echo-requests are sent by the attacker to targeted devices.
How does the ping of death attack work?
In a ping of death attack, a Denial of Service (DoS) attack occurs. A malicious data packet is sent to the target in order to start the attack. When the data packet reaches the targeted device, the target device fails to process the data causing system error.
What is a ping packet?
A ping packet is the one where small packets are sent to a particular IP address through the network. A ping packet contains 64 bytes – 56 data bytes and 8 bytes of protocol reader information. PING can provide information on the number of hops between two computers or devices and the time duration it takes for a packet to make the complete trip.
How much data does a Ping use?
A ping command can run all day using about 6 MB per day.
Ping of death in IPv6:
Usually, the Ping of Death attacks was very common in IPv4, but in 2013, the ping of death vulnerability was used on an IPv6 version in Microsoft Windows. Windows TCP/IP stack was unable to allocate and handle memory when packets were received, causing a remote denial of service. However, this vulnerability was eventually fixed in August 2013. In 2020, another bug was found in the ICMPv6 in Router Advertisement, which could be triggered remotely.
In IPv6, such ping of death attacks could easily penetrate the devices or computers by booby-trapping the ICMP IPv6 network packet and bringing down your computer without warnings.
Patching the bug:
Patching the ping of death bug in time could save you from future hacker DoS attacks. There are two ways the bug can be patched:
To shut down IPv6 in Windows, if you are alternatively using IPv4.
In Windows, the ICMP packet feature can be turned off.
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