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MAC Flooding attack What is it, what is it for and how to mitigate it completely?

He target of a cyber attack is to steal confidential information that users store on their devices. One of the cyberattacks most common is the attack MAC Flooding. If you want to know what it is, what it is for and how to mitigate it completely, keep reading this article about security computing.

This technique is characterized by compromising network switches, which causes the information that travels to be directed to another sector where it should not normally go.

Fortunately, there are functional methods to keep the integrity of your PC safe. Discover here the steps to follow.

What is a MAC Flooding cyberattack and what is it for?

What is a MAC Flooding cyberattack and what is it for?

To take the necessary measures against the actions of a computer attacker, it is essential to know the characteristics of the attack. For that reason, we explain what is a MAC Flooding cyber attack and what is it for. The term "Flooding" It translates as "Flood". Floods of MAC, or MAC Flooding attack, It is a type of cyber attack that affects the security of network switches.

Occurs when legitimate addresses from an address table MAC, contained in a switch, it is forced and collapsed. The MAC table is responsible for storing the address of the physical port specific to which the data packets should be sent. A switch, or network switch (switch) It is a device that is responsible for linking multiple computers through the same network bridge. They make use of the addresses MAC to determine the shipping destination.

Floods occur when the attacker causes an increase in traffic that consumes memory, which is reserved for transmissions of data. When multiplying, the rest of the ports that are linked are flooded. Through MAC Flooding, the attacker can have access to all kinds of data. This includes passwords stored in the system, encrypted files, emails, or conversations made through instant messaging services. Therefore, all private information is compromised.

How do I know if I am under a MAC Flooding attack? More obvious symptoms

Symptoms of Mac Flooding

It is extremely important to recognize immediately if you are being the victim of a cyber criminal. How to know if you are under a MAC Flooding attack it does not turn out to be a complicated process. Next, we present the more obvious symptoms of the MAC floods. A first, you should consider the amount of typical traffic circulating on the net. If you notice a significant increase, your team is likely suffering from MAC Flooding.

Similarly, it is important check if sent data packets often end up astray. It is also necessary check latency from web services or if you suffer from complete network outages. However, sometimes these alarming symptoms they are not appreciable, because the network gets used to their presence.

Therefore, in many cases, the cause of the reduction in performance is not investigated in depth. When this happens, it is normal for the computer to begin to experience slowness or difficulty in accessing network resources. For this reason, given these symptoms, it is important to consult if it is a MAC Flooding attack.

Learn how to mitigate a MAC Flooding attack like a pro

Learn how to mitigate a MAC Flooding attack like a pro

Although a cyber attack can be intimidating, the reality is that today there are functional security methods. Network operators are responsible for equip your network equipment with multiple protection features.

If you want to keep your computer safe, learn how to mitigate a MAC Flooding attack like a pro with these handy countermeasures:

Port Security

It is also known as "Port security" or "Port security". Is a security mechanism that is normally installed by the main switch manufacturers in the world.

Configuration takes care of limit the number of MAC addresses that are bound to ports connected to the end station. It also provides a secure table of addresses MAC, which works as a subset of the traditional table. In this way, the effects of a flood are reduced MAC. This feature is rarely found in low-cost switches. Port security is intended for devices used by companies, or users that are prone to cyber attacks.

Among the main advantages of port security, the following stand out:

  • When the maximum MAC addresses is reached, the configuration drops data packets belonging to unknown addresses.
  • It is responsible for providing a static MAC address for processing packages from certain MAC in ports.
  • The ports that are not being used, they are disabled.
  • Memorize constant MAC addresses. When connecting a new device to the port, the configuration assimilates the address MAC and does not allow the connection of other devices.
  • In the event of a breach in device security, the configuration takes care of shutting down the assigned port.
  • On a AAA server, port security check address MAC.

AAA server authentication

Network switch manufacturers implement a method of authentication, authorization and accounting (AAA server) which has the function of authenticating the MAC addresses that have been discovered. These addresses are subsequently filtered.

Security methods to prevent IP and ARP spoofing

It consists of certain security features that prevent ARP spoofing and IP spoofing. They act in conjunction with additional filtering to the addresses MAC. The function checks the information of the data packets of unicast.

Implementation of IEEE 802.1X suites

This security method will allows you to install filter rules explicitly by AAA server. The implementation takes care of learning, in a dynamic way, the information of its clients. This learning process also includes device MAC address. These are the most used data protection methods to prevent attacks from MAC Flooding on any team. Implement them!.