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What is a Teardrop attack and how to prevent it?

Teardrop attack is a Denial-of-Service attack where the hacker sends massive amounts of bug-laden data to the victim’s device, which causes the device to crash. Before we can begin understanding a Teardrop attack, you must know how the data moves from the one server to other.

Data travels in what we call Data packets. Data packets are small, broken fragments of the data that are assigned a particular stamp. The whole process is a bit tricky, and usually, the data transmission follows seven layers (OSI model) or four layers (TCP/IP model). Each layer has a specific task to perform and in turn forwards the data packets to the other layers.

Now that you have a vague idea of how the data flows over the internet, we will get back to the main topic –Teardrop attack.

Also Read: What is a Zero-Day exploit and eight ways to protect yourself?

How does Teardrop attack work?

E-commerce store Volusion breached: Financial data stolenTeardrop attacks target the network layer of the protocols. Network layer performs three main functions.

  • It designates each data packet with the correct IP of the sender as well as the receiver. This logical addressing ensures that the data reaches the right destination.
  • It also performs dividing the outgoing messages into packets and assembling the incoming packets into messages.
  • It also determines the best path for data transmission.

In the Teardrop attack, the bug-laden data packets get overlapped, and the victim’s machine gets confused while rearranging them. Simultaneously, the hacker sends in more data packets to the device, causing more confusion, which eventually leads to a system crash.

This attack was common to the earlier versions of the Windows OS. However, the attacks once again resurfaced in 2018, thereby prompting Microsoft to release the security patch.

Also Read: What is a Watering hole attack, and how is it carried out?

How to prevent Teardrop attack?

India, USA, UK and Canada hit with healtcare database attacks: FireEyeYou can prevent Teardrop attack or Denial-of-Service attacks in general, by following the instructions given below.

  • Protecting the network layer: As these attacks target the network layer, you must defend it at all cost. You can set up a proper firewall network so that the junk data gets filtered.
  • Use caching servers: Caching servers are useful mitigation tools. In the event of an attack, these servers can provide the static contents so that the website can still run.
  • DNS routing: In this method, the incoming HTTP/S requests are transferred to another server. After that, the server forwards legitimate data packets while discards the illegitimate ones.

Apart from that, you can ask your internet service provider to block all the unwanted traffic to the website. We hope that with this tutorial helped you in understanding the Teardrop attacks and the ways to mitigate it. Let us know in the comments section below if you’d like us to cover some other cybersecurity article.

Also Read: What is a Credential-based cyberattack?

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