Trace Route


Our last blog examined in detail the error messages that are generated by the ICMP. In this final series, we look at the applications and the security vulnerabilities that are associated with it.

The Common Applications of the ICMP

There are two common applications, or utilities that the ICMP is used for, which are as follows:

1) The Traceroute:

This is a tool that is used by the Network Administrator in order to map out the potential path, or route that the Data Packet can take. In this scenario, empty Data Packets are used to accomplish this task. For example, the initial Data Packet is assigned a TTL value of 0. When the first Router receives this Data Packet, it will then be dropped, and a corresponding ICMP message will then be transmitted back to the source computer. This indicates the first Router that will be used in formulating the path for the Data Packets to take. After the initial Data Packet is sent out and returned, the next Data Packet is then sent out with a TTL value of 1. Once the next Router receives this Data Packet, it will decrease the value by -1, and thus, it will be returned with another ICMP message, thus revealing the identity of the second Router. This entire process keeps repeating itself by consistently adding a value of 1 and then decreasing it by -1 to each Data Packet that is sent, so that the map of the Routers that will be used as to where the Data Packets will travel through can be computed (from the source computer to the destination computer). The primary disadvantage of using Traceroute is that it can only be used to map out current and future paths for the Data Packets to take, it cannot be used to look at past paths that have been used by the Data Packets. The Network Administrator can also take of advantage of using the following command:

*-j: This allows you to choose the Routers that you want to use when creating a map of the network flow for the Data Packets to take.

2) The Ping:

In this scenario, there are two types of ICMP messages that are used, the Echo Request and the Echo Reply. First, the Echo Request is sent out, and then later, the Echo Reply is transmitted back. This application literally keeps track of the time between the issuance of these two commands so that the Network Administrator will know will get the exact “Round Trip Time” for a Data Packet to reach its destination and return to the point of origination. It is interesting to note here that it is Ping which can create a non-error related ICMP message. You can invoke two commands here in order to determine the shortest time that a Data Packet can take:

*-j: This command suggests a particular route;

*-k: This command dictates a certain route.

The Security Vulnerabilities of the ICMP

Despite the advantages that the ICMP does offer, it is also prone to several key Security vulnerabilities, which are as follows:

1) The Ping Flood:

This type of attack is very similar to that of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, but rather than using malformed Data Packets to flood the server to slow down its processes, it is flooded with ICMP Echo Requests.

2) The Ping of Death:

This occurs when the Cyberattacker sends out Ping Requests that are too large (in terms of Bytes). In this scenario, the datagram that is used to send out the Ping Request becomes too oversaturated with “filler” information/data that has no relevant meaning. Because of this, it will be broken down into what is known as the “Maximum Transmission Unit”, or “MTU” for short. Once the Router picks up these broken-down datagrams, it will then try to reassemble them again back into its original format before it is sent off to its destination. But, if the reassembled datagram is larger than what the memory resources of the Router can handle, it will literally jam up and become non functionable. As a result of this, the entire flow of the network traffic can be slowed down, or worst yet, come to a grinding halt.

3) The Twinge Attack:

This is like the Ping Flood attack, but rather than the ICMP Echo Requests coming from just one computer, they are coming from multiple computers, but they also have a fake source IP Address in the header of the Data Packet.


The ICMP will continue to be a powerful tool for the Network Administrator in order to diagnose network problems and other related issues. Check out this link for the various downloads that are available for the ICMP.

29 thoughts on “The Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) – Part 4

  1. ICMP is clearly integral for any Los Angeles IT Support team. It has numerous advantages in terms of fault finding and error correction in a network.

  2. IT Support in Los Angeles has come a long way and I’m impressed to see that good measures such as implementation of the ICMP protocols are being used nowadays. More and more people should learn about this so as to make our networks even more efficient than they already are.

  3. incorporation of ICMP protocols is one of those really sought after Los Angeles IT Services. Thanks for the detailed look into how it works in this final part of the ICMP series.

  4. Any Computer Company in Los Angeles that hasn’t yet taken up ICMP is clearly setting itself up for disaster. There are so many ups to having ICMP in place that all companies should be doing it by now.

  5. Much thanks Be Structured for the fourth and final piece on ICMP. This information is as detailed as I could get from any Los Angeles IT Consulting. Keep up the great job!!

  6. Thanks to Los Angeles Computer Company and Bestructured technology for this last blog that examines the error messages that are generated by the ICMP. With this final series, I believe individuals will understand the applications and the security vulnerabilities that are associated with it. Thanks for this great series.

  7. If all Los Angeles MSP can be giving us this type of information, I guess a lot of grey areas will be cleared..ICMP is a powerful tool..thanks for this article

  8. I’ve heard of the Ping before but never quite understood what it means. Thanks for this blog now I understand from Los Angeles IT Services providers of my choice.

  9. Thanks for the part 4 of this content. The Network Administrator and Los Angeles Managed Service Providers are really doing a nice job. Kudos to Be Structured Technology for the write up 💯

  10. IT Consulting for Los Angeles should strive to educate people on information like this with regards to how ICMP works. It can go a long way in helping clients make the right decisions.

  11. Proper ICMP implementation can be easily achieved through Los Angeles IT Outsourcing. Sometimes it’s best to leave the technical stuff to the professionals.

  12. It’s good news that Los Angeles IT Services nowadays encompass a wide range of services including ICMP. The industry has truly coma a long way.

  13. In my opinion any Los Angeles Computer Company that is yet to have ICMP in place is not preparing itself well for any network breaches. ICMP is a good protocol that can ensure efficiency and security in a network.

  14. Los Angeles Managed Service Providers do a good job in ensuring us the clients have the very best when it comes to network services. Do keep up the great job.

  15. The ping of death sounds serious. however these problems are so rare that if it arises it usually means the end of a system no fixing or anything. Unless Los Angeles IT Support are so good that they can fix these? As far as I have seen these errors means I have to buy a new system because any effort to fix are just band aid at this point.

  16. Sounds like very advanced IT Services for Los Angeles. In light of all the cyber attacks common in different workplaces, having an ICMP strategy is very important for network efficiency. I can see how using empty data packets and choosing the path of each router will keep your business on your toes in the wake of a breach.

  17. I believe other network administrators can take a clue from this Los Angeles Managed Service Providers continue to use The ICMP as a powerful tool for diagnosing network problems and other related issues. It will quite helpful to them.

  18. ICMP is really quite complicated should it be left to people who don’t quite grasp it fully and have little experience dealing with cyber attacks mentioned in this article. Times like that, it’s always safer to let the professionals from IT Outsourcing Los Angeles who understand it better to work on it.

  19. ICMP has become very important in Los Angeles IT Support circles as an effective network troubleshooting tool. I’m grateful that you have shared this detailed explanation into how they actually work.

  20. IT Support in Los Angeles ought to prioritize ICMP protocols as they are so important to the efficient running of a network. Also much thanks for the fourth and final part of this informative series of articles.

  21. It’s encouraging that ICMP has become a big part of Los Angeles IT Services. This will lead to more efficient and less error prone networks.

  22. Any Computer Company in Los Angeles that is already implementing ICMP is effectively setting itself up for future success. There are so many advantages associated with ICMP and there is so much to be gained.

  23. Be Structured is my go to Los Angeles MSP when it comes to issues to do with network security. Thanks for always upholding the highest level of professionalism.

  24. Any Computer Company in Los Angeles that is already implementing ICMP is effectively setting itself up for future success. There are so many advantages associated with ICMP and there is so much to be gained.

  25. I take this is only available in LA. thus Los Angeles IT Support? I hope it will be implemented globally. Any system LA or not needs it.

  26. ICPM issues need to be tackled by this Los Angeles Computer Company that can tackle these issues effectively. I suggest them to all that need for this service.

  27. For any IT support in Los Angeles Be Structured will give you the best un-compromised service for all your IT related needs. They have proved to be the best overtime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *