Networking

Analysis of a Denial of Service Attack on TCP

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Executive Summary

This paper analyzes a network-based denial of service attack for IP (Internet Protocol) based networks. It is popularly called SYN flooding. It works by an attacker sending many TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) connection requests with spoofed source addresses to a victim's machine. Each request causes the targeted host to instantiate data structures out of a limited pool of resources. Once the target host's resources are exhausted, no more incoming TCP connections can be established, thus denying further legitimate access. The paper contributes a detailed analysis of the SYN flooding attack and a discussion of existing and proposed countermeasures. Furthermore, they introduce a new solution approach, explain its design, and evaluate its performance.

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