Cyber attacks, DNS, Network

What is a Teardrop attack and how can it affect you?

A Teardrop attack is a type of Denial-of-Service attack in which the criminal delivers large volumes of malware data to the targeted machine, causing it to fall. Let’s plumb its depths and explain more.

Teardrop attack – detailed explanation

One of the most common DoS (Denial-of-Service) attacks is the Teardrop DoS attack. Its goal is to inundate its target with malicious fragmented data packets that the victim will be unable to reconstruct and, as a result, will be unable to operate. This exploit takes advantage of a unique flaw in the TCP/IP reassembly procedure. As a result, the fragmented data packets exceed the victim’s capacity until it crashes while attempting to process them.

A field called “fragment offset” is placed in the IP header of the packets. It specifies the offset or starting location of data conveyed in fragmented packets. They overlap when the sum of the offset and the size of the packets are not equal. The DoS attack is complete since the target cannot reassemble the packets.

How does it work?

The Teardrop attacks work as follows:

  1. Firstly, before being transported via the internet, an enormous volume of data is broken down into smaller pieces. Each fragment is allocated a unique number, and once received, the fragments are reassembled to reconstitute the original message. 
  2. Then the target machine rearranges the pieces in the required sequence using the information included in the offset fields. 
  3. So, here the Teardrop assaults intervene and disturb the offset field of the fragments, making it difficult for the computer to reassemble the pieces. 
  4. Finally, the final result is ready – on the victim’s device, a large amount of faulty packets collect, causing the system to crash.

What can you do to avoid a Teardrop attack?

You can do a few things to protect yourself from the Teardrop attack. Let’s have a look at the possibilities:

  • A strong firewall will keep your network safe. It will filter out the trash and infected data, ensuring the safety of your network.
  • Prevent packet segmentation. You could do it by using path MTU discovery (PMTUD). The method can be used to determine the maximum transmission unit (MTU) dimension on a network route between two IP hosts.
  • Don’t utilize an out-of-date operating system. Keep your OS up to date, and avoid using computers with very old ones.
  • Set the maximum segment size (MSS). The maximum length of data (in bytes) for each data packet can be determined using MSS.


We hope that this article helps you better understand Teardrop attacks and how to avoid them. But, unfortunately, they are extremely dangerous and can do a lot of damage to you. So, before it’s too late, get ready.