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What is an IP Fragmentation Attack? Prevention and Protective Measures

IP Fragmentation attack

An IP Fragmentation attack belongs to the family of Denial Of Service (DoS) attacks and is widespread over the Internet spectrum. During this type of attack, the hackers try to block the access of a particular website for its users. 

Hackers use the concept of data fragmentation to crush the network. 

How Does An IP Fragmentation Attack Works?

For an IP Fragmentation attack to take place, the IP datagrams are broken into small packets and are sent across the internet network. Over here they are again reconstructed into datagrams to be a part of the regular online communication channel. 

Here, it is important to account for the size parameters that a specific network can handle. The maxim size parameter that a network can withstand is known as MTU- maximum transmission unit. 

Various Types Of IP Fragmentation Attack

The underlying purpose of an IP Fragmentation Attack is to disrupt the normal working of networks and devices. In such kinds of attacks, the datagrams are broken into small pieces in a way that reassembling them gets difficult on the receiver’s end. This prevents the network from working smoothly. 

  • User Datagram Protocol and Internet Control Message Protocol Attack: In this type of attack the hackers flood the internet spectrum with shady and large packets causing excessive load, thereby preventing the server from functioning properly.
  • Tiny Fragment Attack: A typical IP packet consists of 2 elements: a payload and a header. The payload carries the data, while the header is the information that directs the IP to its destination. A tiny fragment attack occurs when small fragment packets inserted into the server are unable to fit their respective headers. This may result in the entire server to close down. 
  • Teardrop Attack: This type of attack happens when the small fragments are unable to reunite at the receiver’s end. 

IP Fragmentation Attack| Protection Tips

Here are a few simple ways that can protect you from an IP Fragmentation Attack.

  • Ensure that your Operating System is updated on a regular basis. Doing this will patch it against security loopholes, and fix all possible bugs.
  • Examine incoming packets: Always use a firewall program or an intrusion detection system to examine the packets that enter the router to enjoy uninterrupted services.
  • Cut of the Connection: If you have been facing regular issues with your internet services and are receiving fragmented IP attacks then simply cut off the connection immediately. 

Follow a comprehensive multi-layer protection approach to enjoy a perfect balance of connectivity and protection. 

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