DDoSPedia is a glossary that focuses on network and
application security terms with many distributed
definitions. It provides a central place for hard to find web-scattered
definitions on this topic.
A Nuke is a type of antiquated denial-of-service (DoS) attack carried out by sending fragmented or corrupted (usually ICMP)
packets to a target machine. For any machine running an older more vulnerable
operating system, sending such packets to it will slow down and eventually stop
it, resulting in a crash or Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) in the case of
Perhaps the most famous example of a Nuke attack was the 1997
WinNuke, which exploited vulnerability in Windows 95 that allowed for an
attacker to cause a target machine to BSoD by sending it a string of invalid
data on TCP port 139. The vulnerability used by WinNuke was patched by
Microsoft a few weeks after its source code was released. Years later in 2002,
a newer version of WinNuke surfaced that affected Windows NT, 2000, and XP, but
it was quickly patched by Microsoft. Almost no modern operating systems are
vulnerable to such an attack.