A type of DoS attack that is especially effective against devices running outdated operating systems (Windows 95, Windows NT, old versions of Linux). Under the method, fragmented packets that cannot be reassembled into a single object are sent to the target host address. This is achieved through manipulating the fragment offset field in the packet header, which indicates the offset of the fragmented packet, that is, its position relative to the data in the original packet.

In a teardrop attack, the fragment offset field contains the wrong value. This causes the packets to overlap during reassembly, which can lead to a crash. Most modern operating systems are immune to this kind of attack.