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On a Linux Apache server, from time to time, there are messages saying TCP: Treason uncloaked!.

There are previous questions on ServerFault explaining the fixes for this issue.

However does anyone know the meaning of this error message? Why would mis-matched TCP messages provoke such an unclear error message? Has this message got some history behind it?

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It's part of a long tradition of attempts (and successes) at humor in Unix and Linux error messages. It simply means that a TCP window was shrunk unexpectedly.

  • As traditions go it's more annoying than useful. These messages can fill the kernel log buffer pretty quickly on a busy internet-facing host. – Gerald Combs Jul 26 '10 at 15:31
  • Seems like we were being attacked by Slowloris - now I class this error message as a good indication of attack (ha.ckers.org/slowloris). – Metalshark Jul 26 '10 at 15:35

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