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TCP Reset Attack

Definition of TCP Reset Attack

A TCP reset attack, also known as a forged TCP reset attack or TCP reset injection, is a cyberattack that exploits vulnerabilities in the TCP/IP protocol. In this attack, an attacker sends forged TCP reset packets to disrupt an established connection between two parties. These packets appear to originate from one of the legitimate parties involved in the communication, causing the connection to be terminated abruptly.

Origin of TCP Reset Attack

The TCP reset attack technique has been around since the early days of the Internet. It stems from the fundamental design of the TCP protocol, which allows for the graceful termination of connections through the exchange of reset packets. However, malicious actors have exploited this feature to disrupt communications for nefarious purposes.

Practical Application of TCP Reset Attack

One practical application of a TCP reset attack is in the realm of network reconnaissance and surveillance. By injecting reset packets into ongoing TCP connections, an attacker can disrupt communication sessions between users and servers. This disruption can provide the attacker with valuable insights into the types of services being used, the operating systems involved, and potentially sensitive information transmitted over the network.

Benefits of TCP Reset Attack

While TCP reset attacks are typically associated with malicious intent, there are scenarios where they can be used for beneficial purposes. For example, network administrators may employ TCP reset attacks as a defensive measure to mitigate the impact of denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. By strategically resetting connections, administrators can free up resources and maintain network availability during times of high traffic or attack.


Signs of a TCP reset attack include unexpected termination of network connections, unexplained disruptions in communication between clients and servers, and abnormal behavior in network traffic logs.

To protect your network from TCP reset attacks, implement robust intrusion detection and prevention systems, employ encryption protocols such as TLS to secure communications, and regularly update network equipment to patch known vulnerabilities.

Yes, TCP reset attacks are illegal under various cybersecurity and computer crime laws. Engaging in TCP reset attacks without proper authorization constitutes unauthorized access to computer systems and can lead to severe legal consequences, including fines and imprisonment.


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