Layer 3 DDoS attacks use layer 3 protocols, especially ICMP, to take down targeted servers, websites, or applications. A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack attempts to overwhelm its target with large amounts of data. A DDoS attack is like a traffic jam clogging up a freeway, preventing regular traffic from reaching its destination.
Layer 3 DDoS attacks target layer 3 (L3) in the OSI model. Like all DDoS attacks, the goal of a layer 3 attack is to slow down or crash a program, service, computer, or network, or to fill up capacity so that no one else can receive service. L3 DDoS attacks typically accomplish this by targeting network equipment and infrastructure.
There are a few important differences between layer 3 DDoS attacks and attacks at the higher layer. Learn about the differences in the Cloudflare Learning Center.
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