The bad guys can attack servers and network infrastructure

  • Vulnerability attack. This involves sending a few well-crafted messages to a vul- nerable application or operating system running on a targeted host. If the right sequence of packets is sent to a vulnerable application or operating system, the service can stop or, worse, the host can crash.

  • Bandwidth flooding. The attacker sends a deluge of packets to the targeted host—so many packets that the target’s access link becomes clogged, preventing legitimate packets from reaching the server.

  • Connection flooding. The attacker establishes a large number of half-open or fully open TCP connections (TCP connections are discussed in Chapter 3) at the target host. The host can become so bogged down with these bogus connections that it stops accepting legitimate connections.

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