Remote Attack

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What Does Remote Attack Mean?

A remote attack is a malicious action that targets one or a network of computers. The remote attack does not affect the computer the attacker is using. Instead, the attacker will find vulnerable points in a computer or network’s security software to access the machine or system. The main reasons for remote attacks are to view or steal data illegally, introduce viruses or other malicious software to another computer or network or system, and cause damage to the targeted computer or network.


A remote attack is also known as a remote exploit.

Techopedia Explains Remote Attack

Remote attacks are further classified into the following groups based on the tools and methods the attacker uses to compromise the targeted system.

  • Domain Name System (DNS) Poisoning: Tricks the DNS server into accepting falsified data as authentic and originating from the domain owner. The false data are stored for a time, allowing the attacker time to change DNS replies to computers asking for addresses of domains. Users accessing poisoned DNS servers are redirected to websites where they unknowingly download viruses and other malicious content rather than the original content they intended.
  • Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) Desynchronization: Triggered when the expected number of packets of data differs from the actual number. The unexpected packets are terminated. A hacker supplies the necessary packets with the exact sequential number. The targeted system accepts the packets, and the hacker is able to interfere with peer-to-peer or server-client communications.
  • Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks: A technique that makes a server, computer or network unavailable for its users and clients by flooding it with false client requests that simulate a large usage spike. This obstructs communications between users because the server is preoccupied with large amounts of pending requests to process.
  • Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) Attacks: An Internet protocol used by networked computers to send error messages. ICMP does not require authentication, which means that an attacker can exploit this weakness and initiate DoS attacks.
  • Port Scanning: Computer ports are responsible for allowing data to be sent and received. Port scanners can help identify vulnerable data, exploit vulnerabilities and gain access to take control of computers. If a port is always open so a website can send and receive messages through it, a hacker can disguise himself as that website and gain access through that port.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

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.