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BSDCon 2002 Abstract

Resisting SYN flood DoS attacks with a SYN cache

Jonathan Lemon, FreeBSD Project


Machines that provide TCP services are often susceptible to various types of Denial of Service attacks from external hosts on the network. One particular type of attack is known as a SYN flood, where external hosts attempt to overwhelm the server machine by sending a constant stream of TCP connection requests, forcing the server to allocate resources for each new connection until all resources are exhausted. This paper discusses several approaches for dealing with the exhaustion problem, including SYN caches and SYN cookies. The advantages and drawbacks of each approach are presented, and the implementation of the specific solution used in FreeBSD is analyzed.
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Last changed: 28 Dec. 2001 ml
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