A type of denial of service attack that exploits the way that the Internet Protocol requires a packet that is too large for the next router to handle to be divided into fragments. The fragment packet identifies an offset to the beginning of the first packet that enables the entire packet to be reassembled by the receiving system. In the teardrop attack, the attacker's IP puts a confusing offset value in the second or later fragment. If the receiving operating system does not have a plan for this situation, it can cause the system to crash.

See also: buffer overflow attack, SYN attack, smurf attack, physical infrastructure attack

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