Food for Thought: The Fatal Flaw of IP Fragmentation

While discussing the defining features of the Internet Protocol, I casually mentioned that the process of packet fragmentation and reassembly is fatally flawed. This notion comes primarily from a fairly interesting observation I had while writing this book. Although the concept is related to an active and noticeable attack performed by an openly rogue entity (although it is not easily traceable back to that entity), it is a unique and interesting flaw inherent in the design of the Internet Protocol. It is not the result of a clearly defined mistake, but more a collision of paradigms on different design layers, both, curiously, specified by Jon Postel, one of the fathers of IP suite. I have decided ...

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