What is Syn Flooding?
Welcome to DEFINITIONS, a category on our blog where we explain complex concepts in a simple and concise manner. In this article, we will be discussing the topic of Syn Flooding. So, what exactly is Syn Flooding and how does it affect your online security?
- Syn Flooding is a type of cyberattack that exploits the vulnerabilities in the TCP three-way handshake process.
- It can lead to a denial of service (DoS) or a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, disrupting the availability of a target server or network.
Imagine this scenario: you’re walking down a busy street, and suddenly someone approaches you. Instead of engaging in a normal conversation, they continuously initiate interactions without waiting for your response. This persistent behavior overwhelms you, making it difficult for you to communicate with others. This is similar to what happens during a Syn Flood attack.
Syn Flooding is a type of cyberattack that exploits the vulnerabilities present in the TCP three-way handshake process. To understand Syn Flooding, let’s break down the TCP three-way handshake:
- Synchronization (SYN) – The client sends a SYN packet to the server to initiate a connection.
- Acknowledgement (ACK) – The server responds with an ACK packet, acknowledging the request and allocating resources for the connection.
- Finalization (FIN) – The client sends a FIN packet to the server, indicating the end of the connection.
During a Syn Flood attack, the attacker sends a large number of SYN packets to the target server, with the intention of overwhelming it. However, the attacker will not complete the TCP three-way handshake by sending an ACK packet, leaving the server waiting for a response that will never arrive. This results in the target server’s resources being tied up, preventing it from accepting legitimate connection requests.
Now that we understand the basics, let’s explore the impact of Syn Flooding:
- Denial of Service (DoS) Attack – Syn Flooding can lead to a denial of service attack, where the target server becomes unavailable to legitimate users.
- Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attack – In a distributed denial of service attack, multiple computers are used to send the SYN packets, making it even more difficult for the target server to handle the load.
To defend against Syn Flooding, network administrators can implement various strategies, such as SYN cookies, rate limiting, and intrusion detection systems (IDS). These measures can help mitigate the impact of a Syn Flood attack and ensure the availability of the target server or network.
In conclusion, Syn Flooding is a malicious technique that exploits vulnerabilities in the TCP three-way handshake process, leading to a potential denial of service or distributed denial of service attack. By understanding how Syn Flooding works and implementing appropriate security measures, you can better defend your online assets against this type of cyber threat.