At a time when the size of distributed denial-of-service attacks has reached unprecedented levels, researchers have found a new attack technique in the wild that allows a single laptop to take down high-bandwidth enterprise firewalls.

The attack, dubbed BlackNurse, involves sending Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) packets of a particular type and code. ICMP is commonly used for the ping network diagnostic utility, and attacks that try to overload a system with ping messages—known as ping floods—use ICMP Type 8 Code 0 packets.

BlackNurse uses ICMP Type 3 (Destination Unreachable) Code 3 (Port Unreachable) packets instead and some firewalls consume a lot of CPU resources when processing them.

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