The digital world is a vulnerable space prone to attacks of various kinds. Denial of Service is one of the regular strategy attacks used to crash any server. A DoS attack attempts to make a computer or network resource unavailable to its intended users by generating enormous traffic and costing the legitimate users valuable time and money.
What is a Ping Flood Attack? (ICMP flood, DoS attack & DDoS attack)
The commonly used denial-of-service (DoS) attack is the ping flood (ICMP flood) attack. A DoS attack is an invasion of a networking structure to disable a server from servicing its clients and visitors. Attacks range from sending millions of random requests to a server in an attempt to slow it down to flooding a server with large packets of invalid data to a victim’s network sending requests with an invalid or spoofed IP address by an attacker.
Is ping flooding unlawful?
It is illegal to send ping ICMP echo request packets in huge amounts to the target computer, targeted router, and single computers connected to any network. Assuming that you lead a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, or make, supply, or get stressed or brute administration, you could get a jail sentence, a fine, or even both.
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What is a DDoS attack?
A distributed denial-of-service attack or DDoS attack is a type of cyber attack that uses more than one computer and IP address distributed worldwide to burden a service. These attack sources are often infected with a virus that corrupts a server or service.
Purpose Of DDoS attack
The main purpose of an attacker leveraging a DoS attack method is to disrupt a website’s availability.
A DDoS attack aims to crash the target website, target computer, local network or an extensive network using multiple systems in a synchronised manner.
The website can lag in responding to legitimate massive requests.
Extortion via a threat of a DDoS attack
The attacker might aim to directly profit from his perceived ability to disrupt the victim’s services by demanding payment as a ransom to avoid disruption using the threat of a DDoS attack.
Anticompetitive Business Practices
Cybercriminals sometimes offer DoS services to take out competitors’ websites or disrupt their operations.
Training ground for other attacks
Ethical hackers, sometimes targeting the organisation when fine-tuning DoS tools and capabilities for future attacks, resort to this attack. It is also known as stress testing carried out to check attacks directed at other victims.
DDoS attacks cannot steal the website visitor’s and user’s information. The lone purpose of a DDoS attack is to overwhelm the victim with ICMP echo request (ping) packets. For testing purposes, a blind ping flood attack involves using an external program to reveal the IP address of the target computer or local router before executing an attack.
DDoS attacks can have numerous inspirations, including hacktivists, fearmongers, political and business rivalry. Anybody with a philosophical or money-driven thought process can harm an association by sending off a DDoS attack against it.
What are ping flood attacks (ICMP Requests)?
The Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) is a supporting show in the internet protocol suite. It is a type of cyber attack that is utilised by network gadgets, including switches and routers, to send error packets and useful data showing achievement or disappointment while interacting with another IP address.
Like the DDoS attack, an ICMP flood overwhelms the true resource with what is known as ICMP echo requests (ping) packages, sending groups as speedily as possible without expecting replies. This kind of attack can consume both drawing closer and dynamic information move limit since the loss servers will routinely attempt to respond with ICMP echo reply packages, inciting an immense system stoppage.
If ICMP is disabled, the device becomes unresponsive to ping requests, traceroute requests, and other network activities.
How does the ping flood work?
An attacker sends multiple packets at a time from single or multiple devices to the targeted device and victim’s network for downing the system causing a ping flood successful attack.
The ICMP, which ping flood attack use, is a web layer show used by organising contraptions to grant. The framework, decisive mechanical assemblies traceroute requests and ping requests works using ICMP. Routinely, ICMP request and resonation answer messages are associated with pinging a framework contraption to investigate the prosperity and accessibility of the device and the relationship between the source and the device.
How to do ping flood (ICMP flood) using CMD?
Disclaimer: This article was cleanly written for educational purposes.
Press Win+R (Run panel opens).
Type the CMD and hit enter.
Open the command prompt.
Type or copy the following command and paste it in cmd.
ping -t | 65500
Change the “” or “” with the target’s IP.
By using “-t” you’re specifying that the system shouldn’t stop pinging until it’s manually stopped by you, the user.
“65500” is the data load sent to the target ping request packets.
Ping Flood Attack vs Smurf Attack
The smurf attack is a DoS attack, which makes it difficult to reach a system. In a smurf attack, an attacker makes loads of ICMP packets with the target victim’s IP address as source IP and broadcasts those bundles of packets in a PC network utilising an IP broadcast address.
Thus, most devices of the organisation react by sending data or reply packets to the victim’s system. Assuming that the quantity of devices in the organisation is quite large and that the vast majority of the devices send data packets, the victim’s machine floods with such an attack on the network. This can dial back the victim’s PC to such bogus traffic that the objective framework will be totally out of reach and result in a DoS attack.
How is a ping flood different from a smurf attack?
In the ping flood attacker attempts to send a large number of ICMP echo requests or ping packets to the victim. The victim responds with ICMP functionality, both the incoming and outgoing channels of the network, consuming significant bandwidth and resulting in a DoS attack.
Is DDoS with ping possible?
A ping flood is a denial-of-service attack in which the assailant endeavours to overpower a designated device with ICMP echo request packets and reverberation demand bundles, distancing the objective from typical traffic. Whenever the attack traffic comes from different devices, the attack turns into a DDoS attack.
Types of ping flood attacks
IP null attack traffic
DNS flood DDoS attack
ICMP fragmentation flood
Fragmented HTTP flood
Media data flood
Direct UDP flood
Synonymous IP attack
Spoofed session flood
Multiple SYN-ACK spoofed session flood
Multiple ACK spoofed session flood
UDP fragmentation flood
ACK. & PUSH ACK flood
ACK fragmentation flood
Recursive HTTP GET flood
Random recursive GET flood
Single session HTTP flood
Single request HTTP flood
Tools used for Ping Flood attacks & DDoS attacks
LOIC (Low Orbit Ion Cannon)
LOIC is quite possibly the most well-known DDoS attack open-source tool. This tool was utilised by the famous programmer “Anonymous” against many large organisations. Anonymous has involved the instrument and mentioned internet clients in joining their DDOS attack using Internet Relay Chat (IRC).
It may very well be utilised by a solitary client to play out a DoS attack on little servers of victims. This tool is straightforward to use for everybody even amateurs. This device plays out a DoS attack by sending TCP, UDP, or HTTP solicitations to the victim server. You just need to know the server’s IP or URL, and the tool will wrap up the rest.
UFONet DoS toolkit
UFONet – is a tool designed to launch DoS and DDoS attacks against a target system, using ‘Open Redirect’ vectors on third-party web applications, like botnet. It’s a ‘create a zombie server’.
HULK – HTTP unbearable load king
This tool is for DoS attacks. It’s an open-source tool available on GitHub. It puts a heavy load on HTTP servers, bringing them to their knees by exhausting the resource pool.
RUDY, short for R-U-Dead-Yet, is an acronym used to describe a DoS tool used by hackers to perform slow-rate, a.k.a. “Low and slow” attacks, by directing long-form fields to the targeted server.
DAVOSET is an open-source tool. It is the command-line tool for leading DDoS attacks on locales through abuse of functionality and XML external entities weaknesses at different destinations.
GoldenEye (HTTP DoS Test Tool)
GoldenEye is an HTTP DoS test tool. This tool can be utilised to test if a site is powerless against DoS attacks. It enables the use of multiple parallel connections against a URL to examine the susceptibility of a webserver.
Tor’s hammer is a slow-rate HTTP POST DoS tool created by phiral.net. This tool published dates back to early 2011. This tool executes a DoS attack using a slow POST attack, where HTML POST fields are transmitted at slow rates under the same session.
How to prevent ping flood & DDoS attacks?
Activating a web application firewall (WAF) and reconfiguring your perimeter firewall to disallow pings will block DDoS attacks.
Keep everything up to date. It can be a single computer or a large network of an organisation.
Install protection tools.
Secure your network devices and entire network infrastructure.
Monitor basic network activities on multiple devices.
Maintain strong network architecture tested against external and internal attacks.
If attacker overwhelms normal traffic, leverage the cloud space.
Diagnose server issues.
When ping flood targets, routers understand the warning signs.
Deploy a DDoS protection appliance on the network device.
Protect your internet layer protocol on DNS server and internal IP address.
Buy more significant bandwidth to handle a large number of ping requests.
The prescribed procedures in this article can assist you with building a DDoS versatile design that safeguards your application’s accessibility by forestalling numerous normal frameworks and application-layer DDoS attacks. The degree to which you follow these prescribed procedures when you design your application will impact the sort, vector, and volume of DDoS attacks that you can relieve.
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Shahrukh, is a passionate cyber security analyst and researcher who loves to write technical blogs on different cyber security topics. He holds a Masters degree in Information Security, an OSCP and has a strong technical skillset in offensive security.