Your IP: Unknown · Your Status: ProtectedUnprotectedUnknown
Ping of death

Ping of death

(also PoD, long ICMP)

Ping of death definition

A ping of death is a denial of service (DoS) attack in which a hacker sends oversized or malformed data packets to crash, destabilize, or freeze the targeted computer. Malicious parties use a ping of death to make computer systems unstable. While ping of death attacks were common in older computer systems, they may still affect machines that haven’t been updated.

How a ping of death works

  • A correctly formed IPv4 data packet is 65,535 bytes. Historically, if a machine received a packet larger than that, it would crash.
  • To initiate a ping of death attack, the hacker sends a packet larger than 65,535 bytes in malformed fragments.
  • When the computer system attempts to reassemble the fragmented data packet, it ends up with one that’s larger than 65,535 bytes.
  • The system can’t handle it and the computer freezes, crashes, or reboots.

How to prevent ping of death

  • ICMP blocking. To avoid PoD attacks, many network devices block ICMP ping messages using their firewalls.
  • Block fragmented pings. This approach allows ping traffic to pass through but blocks only the fragmented data packets.

Ultimate digital security

We value your privacy

This website uses cookies to provide you with a safer and more personalized experience. By accepting, you agree to the use of cookies for ads and analytics, in line with our Cookie Policy.