Posted on February 10, 2013 10:43 am

Intel Gigabit NIC Packet of Death

from the how-to-break-things dept.

Packets of death. I started calling them that because that’s exactly what they are. … This customer location, for some reason or another, could predictably bring down the ethernet controller with voice traffic on their network. Let me elaborate on that for a second. When I say “bring down” an ethernet controller I mean BRING DOWN an ethernet controller. The system and ethernet interfaces would appear fine and then after a random amount of traffic the interface would report a hardware error (lost communication with PHY) and lose link. Literally the link lights on the switch and interface would go out. It was dead. Nothing but a power cycle would bring it back. … While debugging with this very patient reseller I started stopping the packet captures as soon as the interface dropped. Eventually I caught on to a pattern: the last packet out of the interface was always a 100 Trying provisional response, and it was always a specific length. Not only that, I ended up tracing this (Asterisk) response to a specific phone manufacturer’s INVITE. … With a modified HTTP server configured to generate the data at byte value (based on headers, host, etc) you could easily configure an HTTP 200 response to contain the packet of death — and kill client machines behind firewalls!

Dude figured it out too.  Follow the link.