from the for-sale:-random-name-generator,-hardly-used dept.
A code artefact in a number of popular firewalls means they can be crashed by a mere crafted ping.
The low-rate "Ping of death" attack, dubbed BlackNurse, affects firewalls from Cisco, SonicWall, Zyxel, and possibly Palo Alto.
Since we don't imagine Switchzilla has started giving away the version of IOS running in its ASA firewalls, Vulture South suspects it arises from a popular open source library. Which means other vulnerable devices could be out there.
Unlike the old-fashioned ping-flood, the attack in question uses ICMP "Type 3, Code 3" (destination unreachable, port unreachable) packets.
In the normal course of events, a host would receive that packet in response to a message it had initiated – but of course, it's trivial to craft that packet and send it to a target.
In devices susceptible to BlackNurse, the operating system gets indigestion trying to process even a relatively low rate of these messages – in the original report from Denmark's TF-CSIRT, gigabit-capable routers could be borked by just 18 Mbps of BlackNurse traffic on their WAN interfaces.