Ping O' Death

Slang Dictionary

Ping O\' Death

n. A notorious exploit that (when first discovered) could be easily used to crash a wide variety of machines by overunning size limits in their TCP/IP stacks. First revealed in late 1996. The open-source Unix community patched its systems to remove the vulnerability within days or weeks, the closed-source OS vendors generally took months. While the difference in response times repeated a pattern familiar from other security incidents, the accompanying glare of Web-fueled publicity proved unusually embarrassing to the OS vendors and so passed into history and myth. The term is now used to refer to any nudge delivered by network wizards over the network that causes bad things to happen on the system being nudged. For the full story on the original exploit, see `http://www.insecure.org/sploits/ping-o-death.html'.

Compare with 'kamikaze packet,' 'Finger of Death' and 'Chernobyl packet.'
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