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* Do you know what a SYN flood attack is?

Suggested page: Understanding SYN flood attack

A SYN flood attack, categorized as a TCP/IP-based Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, disrupts a system by overwhelming it with a flood of SYN requests from spoofed IP addresses. This attack prevents the server from processing legitimate service requests, similar to an annoying prankster jamming a business phone line.

The attack exploits the TCP handshake protocol in the following steps:

  • Identifying the Target: Attackers select a specific server, such as a website or application.
  • Initiating SYN Requests: They flood the server with numerous SYN packets, requesting permission to establish a connection.
  • Half-Open Connections: The server responds with SYN-ACK packets, queuing the requests in a "half-open" state, awaiting the client's final ACK.
  • Server Response: The attacker abandons the connection, not sending the final ACK, and filling the server's backlog queue.
  • Resource Exhaustion: Each half-open connection consumes server resources, pushing it to its limit.
  • Denial of Service: The server becomes unable to accept new connections, denying legitimate users access.

As a result of the SYN flood attack, the targeted server becomes unable to accept new connections, leading to a denial of service for legitimate users.

If you want to know more about this topic, we recommend the following article about the SYN flood attack!