Blackhat Python: The Ping of Death

Ethical Hacking-Blackhat Python

The Infamous Ping of Death

In this Ethical hacking guide about Blackhat Python, we will learn about the “Ping of Death”. Then we will discuss a little about the Scapy Python library. Finally, we will cover how to use Python to create a “Ping of Death” attack.

What is the Ping of Death?

The “Ping of Death” is a computer network attack or a software bug that can lead to a denial of service (DoS) or crash of a computer system. It involves sending an unusually large or malformed Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) Echo Request packet, typically a “ping” packet, to a target computer or network device. The objective is to exploit vulnerabilities in the target system’s network stack or ICMP implementation.

Key points about the Ping of Death

ICMP Echo Request (Ping) Packet:

ICMP is a network protocol used to send error messages and operational information about network conditions. An ICMP Echo Request is commonly known as a “ping” packet and is used for network troubleshooting to check if a remote host is reachable. It typically consists of a small amount of data.

Oversized or Malformed Packet:

The Ping of Death attack involves sending an ICMP Echo Request packet that is significantly larger than what the target system expects or can handle. This can cause buffer overflows, data corruption, or other issues in the target’s network stack.

Denial of Service (DoS):

When a system receives an oversized or malformed ICMP packet, it may become overwhelmed, leading to excessive resource consumption or even crashing the system. This results in a denial of service, as the targeted system becomes unavailable to legitimate users.

Historical Significance:

The Ping of Death attack was more prevalent in the early days of the Internet, particularly in the 1990s. Many operating systems and network devices have since implemented safeguards against this type of attack.


Modern network and operating system software usually includes security measures to detect and block malformed or oversized packets. This mitigates the threat of the Ping of Death. Network administrators should keep systems and software up to date to protect against known vulnerabilities.

It’s worth noting that the Ping of Death is less common today, as it targeted vulnerabilities in older network stacks. However, it serves as a historical example of how security flaws in network protocols can be exploited to disrupt network services. Responsible network administration and regular software updates are essential for safeguarding against such attacks.

Using Python for the Ping of Death

Python’s Scapy Library

Scapy is a powerful Python library that is widely used for crafting, manipulating, and interacting with network packets at a low level. It provides a flexible and programmable framework for creating and dissecting network protocols, sending and receiving packets, and performing various network-related tasks. Scapy is often used for network protocol analysis, network testing, security research, and developing custom network tools.

Here are some key features and uses of Scapy:

Packet Crafting:

Scapy allows you to create custom network packets for various protocols, including TCP, UDP, IP, ICMP, and more. You can build packets from scratch, modify existing packets, or even craft entirely new protocols.

Packet Sniffing and Capture:

You can use Scapy to capture and analyze network traffic in real-time. It can be used to create packet sniffers or network monitoring tools. It supports reading and writing various packet capture file formats, such as PCAP.

Network Scanning:

Scapy is commonly used for port scanning, network discovery, and vulnerability assessment. It can send crafted packets to remote hosts and analyze their responses.

Prototyping and Testing:

Scapy is a valuable tool for developing and testing network protocols, applications, and services. You can simulate network behaviors and test how systems respond to different packet sequences.

Security Research:

Scapy is often used in security research and penetration testing for tasks like crafting specific payloads, testing for vulnerabilities, and conducting network attacks (in controlled environments with permission).

Custom Tools:

You can use Scapy to build custom network tools and scripts for a wide range of network-related tasks, from network troubleshooting to network administration.

Integration with Other Tools:

Scapy can be integrated with other Python libraries and network analysis tools, enhancing its capabilities for tasks like intrusion detection and analysis.

Scapy’s flexibility makes it a popular choice for security professionals, network administrators, and researchers who need to work with network packets and protocols. It is also highly extensible, allowing users to define their own packet structures and behaviors.

The Ping of Death Code:
from scapy.all import *
SOURCE_IP=""	 #Enter The Source IP
TARGET_IP="" #Enter The IP to Attack
NUMBER_PACKETS=5 # Number of pings
pingOFDeath=IP(src=SOURCE_IP, dst=TARGET_IP)/ICMP()/("X"*60000)


The Ping of Death was once a notorious network attack that capitalized on vulnerabilities in early network stacks. It disrupted services and caused havoc in the early days of the internet. However, the landscape of network security has evolved significantly. Modern operating systems and network devices come equipped with robust safeguards against such attacks, rendering the Ping of Death largely obsolete.

It’s important to recognize that responsible cybersecurity practices and ethical considerations are paramount. While Scapy and similar tools provide valuable insights into network protocols and security, using them irresponsibly or maliciously is not only unethical but also illegal. Hacking, whether it involves the Ping of Death or other methods, can have severe consequences, including legal action. Always ensure you have explicit authorization and stay within the boundaries of the law when conducting network testing or security research. The goal is to enhance our understanding of network security, not to compromise it.

Happy Hacking Folk’s!

Read more of our Python guides here: Python Guides


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Luke Barber

Hello, fellow tech enthusiasts! I'm Luke, a passionate learner and explorer in the vast realms of technology. Welcome to my digital space where I share the insights and adventures gained from my journey into the fascinating worlds of Arduino, Python, Linux, Ethical Hacking, and beyond. Armed with qualifications including CompTIA A+, Sec+, Cisco CCNA, Unix/Linux and Bash Shell Scripting, JavaScript Application Programming, Python Programming and Ethical Hacking, I thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of coding, computers, and networks. As a tech enthusiast, I'm on a mission to simplify the complexities of technology through my blogs, offering a glimpse into the marvels of Arduino, Python, Linux, and Ethical Hacking techniques. Whether you're a fellow coder or a curious mind, I invite you to join me on this journey of continuous learning and discovery.

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