An assault on a network that prevents a TCP/IP server from servicing other users. It is accomplished by not sending the final acknowledgment to the server's SYN-ACK response (SYNchronize-ACKnowledge) in the handshaking sequence, which causes the server to keep signaling until it eventually times out. The source address from the client is, of course, counterfeit. SYN flood attacks can either overload the server or cause it to crash. See denial of service attack.