= P =
Ping O' Death n.
A notorious exploit that (when
first discovered) could be easily used to crash a wide variety of
machines by overunning size limits in their TCP/IP stacks. First
revealed in late 1996. The open-source Unix community patched its
systems to remove the vulnerability within days or weeks, the
closed-source OS vendors generally took months. While the
difference in response times repeated a pattern familiar from other
security incidents, the accompanying glare of Web-fueled publicity
proved unusually embarrassing to the OS vendors and so passed into
history and myth. The term is now used to refer to any nudge
delivered by network wizards over the network that causes bad
things to happen on the system being nudged. For the full story on
the original exploit, see
Compare with 'kamikaze packet,' 'Finger of Death' and 'Chernobyl packet.'
--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.