What is arp.exe? Should I delete it?

Arp.exe is responsible for the Address Resolution Protocol application. It is used to transfer the network layer to the data link layer. The file is important when tracing the MAC address of the user when only the IP address is known. In addition, the application helps to communicate to computers connected to the same local area network LAN. The file can also be used for statistical purposes.

Other uses of arp.exe

As the application helps to keep the connection between computers, it is natural to have a way to use it for malicious purposes. Cybercriminals have created a technique called poisoning by ARP. By flooding the computer with a mass of false MAC address requests, the perpetrator can access another device. However, the perpetrator’s capabilities are limited to the number of devices visible in the network.

What’s more, a cybercriminal needs access to only one of the ARP exchange participants to gain access to more computers. Spoofing ARP also directs traffic from the attacked computer to the one monitored by the thief.

Usually, this technique requires the participation of additional people and serves as the first phase of wider attacks, such as DDoS.

Prevention of ARP infections

Each operating system – both Windows and Linux – is programmed to detect this kind of hacking. For example, Linux blocks uncertified requests by comparing the cache file with other ARP exchange members. Unfortunately, if any of the computers fell victim to a hacker, this method ends with the takeover of other computers.

Windows OS users can configure ARP processes with the help of registry entries HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Services \ Tcpip \ Parameters, ArpCacheLife, ArpCacheMinReferenceLife, ArpUseEtherSNAP, ArpTRSingleRoute, ArpAlwaysSourceRoute, and ArpRetryCount

As this technique has a few limitations, it is not very popular among hackers. You should, however, be aware of its existence. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent malware that protect users from such attacks. In order to strengthen the overall protection, update your anti-malware and antivirus programs.

Ways to deactivate arp.exe

If you have seen any suspicious activity on your computer, or the arp.exe process itself takes up a lot of memory, it’s time to respond. Install Anti-Malware and perform a system scan. These programs will be able to learn the origin of the file and disable unauthorized access. You can also disable the process in the Task Manager. Just find it, click on it with the second mouse button and select “End Task”.