What would be the primary reason an attacker would launch a MAC address overflow attack?
- so that the attacker can execute arbitrary code on the switch
- so that the switch stops forwarding traffic
- so that the attacker can see frames that are destined for other hosts
- so that legitimate hosts cannot obtain a MAC address
Answers Explanation & Hints:
A MAC address overflow attack is a type of denial-of-service attack that exploits a vulnerability in the way that a switch handles large numbers of MAC addresses. The primary goal of this attack is to make the switch stop forwarding traffic, thereby disrupting network communication.
Therefore, the correct answer is “so that the switch stops forwarding traffic”. By flooding the switch with a large number of fake MAC addresses, the attacker can overwhelm the switch’s memory and cause it to enter into a “fail-open” state, where it stops forwarding traffic and becomes unresponsive. This can lead to a denial-of-service (DoS) situation, where legitimate network traffic is blocked and communication between hosts is disrupted.
It’s worth noting that this type of attack is not typically used to execute arbitrary code on the switch, see frames that are destined for other hosts, or prevent legitimate hosts from obtaining a MAC address. Instead, the primary goal is to disrupt network communication and cause a DoS.