A form of Denial of Service (DoS) attack, exploits the system when the Internet Protocol (IP) requires that a packet too big for the next router to handle has to be split into fragments. The fragment packet contains a value that represents the number of bytes between itself and the first packet (an offset), thus enabling the whole packet to be reassembled by the receiving system.
In a teardrop attack, the cracker’s IP puts an odd and confusing offset value in the second fragment or in a fragment thereafter. If the operating system under attack does not have a counter-plan for this kind of scenario, the system can be caused to crash.
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 criminalized unauthorized access to data stored on government computer systems, the closest law at that time that the United States had for curbing DoS attacks. The Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice is currently allowing people to file online reports at http://www.cybercrime.gov when their computers are hit with DoS attacks.
Kenders, R. Sollenberger, M., Perry, J., Wierioch, A. and K. Homan. Computer Crime-Laws, Regulations, & Today’s Issues. [Online, November 27, 2002.] Pennsylvania State University Website. http://www.personal.psu.edu/users/a/a/aaw136/ist432/; TechTarget. Denial of Service. [Online, May 16, 2001.] TechTarget Website. http://searchsecurity.techtarget .com/sDefinition/0,,sid14_gci213591,00.html.