a.k.a. smurf attack, smurfing, fraggle attack
In online usage, this term originally referred to a network security breach in which a network connected to the Internet is bombarded with replies to PING requests. A "smurf attacker" sends PING requests to an Internet broadcast address, a special address that broadcasts all received messages to the hosts connected to the subnet. Each broadcast address can support up to 255 hosts, so a single PING request can be multiplied 255 times. The return address of the request itself is spoofed as the address of the victim, so all the hosts receiving the PING request reply to the victim's address rather than the real sender's address.
A single attacker sending hundreds or thousands of these PING messages per second can fill the victim's T1 (or even T3) line with PING replies, bringing the entire Internet service to its knees. "Smurfing" falls under the general category of Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, which are security attacks that don't try to steal information but attempt to disable a computer or network.
The term morphed into the online gaming world, where smurfing refers to an experienced player creating a new account for the purposes of being matched against inexperienced players for easy wins. Smurfing, which could be considered a type of hustling, came from the mid-1990s game Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness in which certain well-known players using names such as PapSmurf and Smurfette, pretended to play badly only to eventually beat the other players.
A variation of the smurf attack is the fraggle attack, named for its source code Fraggle.c. The name may come from Fraggle Rock, a Jim Hensen show from the mid-1980s, or the word frag, which means to wound or kill a fellow soldier by throwing a grenade or similar explosive at the victim, or a successful kill in a deathmatch game.
NetLingo Classification: Technical Terms