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Is there an attack that somehow floods a target process (e.g. by repeatedly calling a WinAPI function that involves the process) and thereby crashes or temporarily disables it?

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Strictly speaking, what you are asking about is a Fork Bomb.

... wherein a process continually replicates itself to deplete available system resources, causing resource starvation and slowing or crashing the system.

In Windows (because you ask about that OS specifically) you cannot spawn new forks at the OS level, but you can create a cascade of new processes. That technique still falls under the "Fork Bomb" term.

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  • So there is no targeted attack but only against system resources in general? – Benjoyo Apr 13 '15 at 23:52
  • The fork bomb would simply slow down the whole system. I mean if there is something that only affects single processes. – Benjoyo Apr 13 '15 at 23:54
  • Are you asking about a DoS that affects a particular process and nothing else? Sure, there are those, too. But those are usually caused by vulnerabilities in that process being unable to handle the requests - at some point, even a targeted attack will bring down the OS with the DoS. – schroeder Apr 13 '15 at 23:54

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