An administrator is instructed to disable IP-directed broadcasts on all routers in an organization. Which of the following attacks does this prevent?
Correct Answer: B
Section: Threats and Vulnerabilities
A smurf attack is a type of network security breach in which a network connected to the Internet is swamped with replies to ICMP echo (PING) requests. A smurf attacker sends PING
requests to an Internet broadcast address. These are special addresses that broadcast all received messages to the hosts connected to the subnet. Each broadcast address can
support up to 255 hosts, so a single PING request can be multiplied 255 times. The return address of the request itself is spoofed to be the address of the attacker’s victim. All the
hosts receiving the PING request reply to this victim’s address instead of the real sender’s address. A single attacker sending hundreds or thousands of these PING messages per
second can fill the victim’s Internet connection with ping replies, bringing their entire Internet service to its knees. Smurfing falls under the general category of Denial of Service attacks
— security attacks that don’t try to steal information, but instead attempt to disable a computer or network.
By disabling IP-directed broadcasts on all routers, we can prevent the smurf attack by blocking the ping requests to broadcast addresses.
A: Similar in nature to e-mail phishing, pharming seeks to obtain personal or private (usually financial related) information through domain spoofing. Rather than being spammed with
malicious and mischievous e-mail requests for you to visit spoof Web sites which appear legitimate, pharming ‘poisons’ a DNS server by infusing false information into the DNS server,
resulting in a user’s request being redirected elsewhere. Your browser, however will show you are at the correct Web site, which makes pharming a bit more serious and more difficult
to detect. Phishing attempts to scam people one at a time with an e-mail while pharming allows the scammers to target large groups of people at one time through domain spoofing.
Disabling IP-directed broadcasts would not prevent this attack.
C: A replay attack is a form of network attack in which a valid data transmission is maliciously or fraudulently repeated or delayed. This is carried out either by the originator or by an
adversary who intercepts the data and retransmits it. Disabling IP-directed broadcasts would not prevent this attack.
D: In information technology, a Christmas (Xmas) tree packet is a packet with every single option set for whatever protocol is in use. Christmas tree packets can be used as a method
of divining the underlying nature of a TCP/IP stack by sending the packets and awaiting and analyzing the responses. When used as part of scanning a system, the TCP header of a
Christmas tree packets has the flags SYN, FIN, URG and PSH set. Many operating systems implement their compliance with the Internet Protocol standard (RFC 791) in varying or
incomplete ways. By observing how a host responds to an odd packet, such as a Christmas tree packet, assumptions can be made regarding the host’s operating system. Disabling
IP-directed broadcasts would not prevent this attack.