Address Resolution Protocol Poisoning

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What Does Address Resolution Protocol Poisoning Mean?

Address Resolution Protocol poisoning (ARP poisoning) is a form of attack in which an attacker changes the Media Access Control (MAC) address and attacks an Ethernet LAN by changing the target computer’s ARP cache with a forged ARP request and reply packets. This modifies the layer -Ethernet MAC address into the hacker’s known MAC address to monitor it. Because the ARP replies are forged, the target computer unintentionally sends the frames to the hacker’s computer first instead of sending it to the original destination. As a result, both the user’s data and privacy are compromised. An effective ARP poisoning attempt is undetectable to the user.

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ARP poisoning is also known as ARP cache poisoning or ARP poison routing (APR).

Techopedia Explains Address Resolution Protocol Poisoning

ARP poisoning is very effective against both wireless and wired local networks. By triggering an ARP poisoning attack, hackers can steal sensitive data from the targeted computers, eavesdrop by means of man-in-the-middle techniques, and cause a denial of service on the targeted computer. In addition, if the hacker modifies the MAC address of a computer that enables Internet connection to the network, access to Internet and external networks may be disabled.

For smaller networks, using static ARP tables and static IP addresses is an effective solution against ARP poisoning. Another effective method for all kinds of networks is implementing an ARP monitoring tool.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.