Denial of Service
One of the simplest forms of network attack is a Denial of Service (DoS) attack. Instead of trying to steal information, a DoS attack simply prevents access to a service or resource. There are two general forms of DoS attacks: those that crash services and those that flood services.
Denial of Service attacks that crash services are actually more similar to program exploits than network-based exploits. Often, these attacks are dependent on a poor implementation by a specific vendor. A buffer overflow exploit gone wrong will usually just crash the target program instead of directing the execution flow to the injected shellcode. If this program happens to be on a server, then no one else can access that server after it has crashed. Crashing DoS attacks like this are closely tied to a certain program and a certain version. Since the operating system handles the network stack, crashes in this code will take down the kernel, denying service to the entire machine. Many of these vulnerabilities have long since been patched on modern operating systems, but it’s still useful to think about how these techniques might be applied to different situations.