swap space attack

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A denial of service attack which is based on overwhelming an area of memory known as a swap space. A browser usually has a relatively small amount of main memory available for the storage of data. When this memory is exhausted and more data is created then the old data is copied out to a slow memory device, usually some form of backing storage. When the old data is required again it is brought back in, with existing data being copied out. This type of attack creates large amounts of data and results in a massive traffic between the browser and the slow memory device, with the browser being disabled to the point where it becomes unusable. A swap space attack also impacts on other programs running on the computer executing the browser that has been attacked. See also stack attack.

Subjects: Computing.

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