UDP Flood Attack

UDP is a standard protocol for live-traffic computer communication (video streaming, VoIP telephony, etc.) UDP is a stateless protocol, meaning that:

  1. No connection establishment process is required
  2. No communication state information is monitored

UDP Flood Attack

What is a UDP flood attack?

A UDP flood is a type of DoS attack. The attack works by sending vast numbers of User Datagram Protocol (UDP) packets to a server that’s targeted to cripple its ability to function correctly. What’s worrisome about this attack is that the firewalls put in place to protect against such attacks can get exhausted and no longer protect your online activities.

How does a UDP flood attack work?

A UDP flood works the same way as other flood attacks. It begins by exploiting a targeted server with unnecessary UDP packets sent to one of its ports. Typically, when a server receives a UDP packet one of it ports, this is the process:

  • The server first verifies if any programs are currently processing requests at the identified port.
  • In an event where no programs are receiving packets at that particular port, the server reacts by a ping, informing the intended sender that the port is inaccessible.

When a recipient gets a new UDP packet through the server, the packet goes through multiple steps to process the request. As each UDP packet gets communicated, they’ll contain an IP address of the device where they came from.

As an attacker carries out the UDP flood attack, they will generally spoof their real IP address. This is done so that no one knows their actual location. During this attack, the server gets exhausted quickly as the server is being utilized more than its usual capacity. The large UDP packets lead a DoS attack.

How is a UDP flood attack mitigated?

Numerous operating systems restrict the response of massive incoming requests to avoid a DDoS attack. While this may seem that you’re in the safe zone, it’s not just safe yet. The attacker could disguise the packets as legitimate, which may easily pass through.As such, it becomes challenging to identify legitimate packets and the ones that are not. To stay secure on the web, it’s best to use AES 256-bit encryption so that your online activities are encoded and secured from attackers.