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rate limiting of ARP packets on Huawei switch

How to protect Huawei switches against ARP flood attack?

DoS attack is an attempt to make a network resources unavailable to its intended users. There are several different types of DoS attacks, but most of them rely on spoofing and flooding techniques. Some of these attacks can be hard to defend against, because DoS packets may look exactly like normal packets.

One common method of attack involves saturating the target device with a flood of request packets, so that this device cannot respond to a legitimate traffic or responds so slowly, as to be unavailable.

Attackers often use ARP protocol to attack network devices, because it is easy to use and has no security mechanisms built in. Flooding a network device with ARP request packets can lead to insufficient CPU resources to process other services, when processing a large number of ARP packets. To protect the device, ARP rate limiting mechanism can be used. On Huawei switches this feature can be implemented in the following ways:

  • Limiting the rate of ARP packets globally, in a VLAN or on an interface
  • Limiting the rate of ARP packets based on the source MAC address
  • Limiting the rate of ARP packets based on the source IP address

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