pppoesk: terminate a bogus PPPoE session in an automatic way

What is it ?

PPPoE session killer

pppoesk is a small C program which goal is to terminate a bogus PPPoE session in an automatic way.


pppoesk uses libnet and libpcap libraries, and builds help to the autotools.

sh autogen.sh
make && make install


PPPoE is a protocol which establish a link between the ISP’s access concentrator and your network device. It encapsulate successively PPP and IP protocols.

A PPPoE session is established this way :rfc2516

  • your network device send a PADI packet (PPPoE Active Discovery Initiation)
  • answer from one or several access concentrator with a PADO packet (PPPoE Active Discovery Offer)
  • selection of the concentrator with a PADR packet (PPPoE Active Discovery Request)
  • acknowledgement by the choosen concentrator with a PADS packet(PPPoE Active Discovery Session-confirmation) then a session’s specific ID is created.

Now the connection is established and is uniquely identified by the 3 following parameters :

  • MAC address of the access concentrator
  • MAC addressof your network device
  • session ID

Terminate the session is possible at PPP layer or at PPPoE layer with a PADT packet, which must be send to the access concentrator.

Bogus session (or ghost session)

The PPPoE session can be abruptly aborded (poor phone line quality,…), without the access concentrator being informated because no PADT packet was sent.

Thus, from the access concentrator’s side, the session is still valid and you must wait a certain amount of time for the concentrator to reset the bogus session, thereby a new PPPoE session can be established.

Packets’s story

  • client : sending PADI packet
  • access concentrator(s) : answer with a PADO packet
  • client : a access concentrator is choosen help to a PADR packet
  • access concentrator : hum, a session is already established, I can’t open more than 1 session
  • client : …

This amount of time is maybe ISP specific, and is, where I live (France) at most 24h

With my ISP I have to wait one or two hours.

How pppoesk works

A PPPoE PADT (Terminate) packet is forged with session’s parameters :

  • MAC address client side
  • MAC address ISP side
  • session ID

then send the packet to close the session on the ISP’s concentrator access

It’s also possible to use the pppoe command with -p -e parameters like described in the manual page :

-k Causes pppoe to terminate an existing session by sending a PADT frame, and then exit. You must use the -e option in conjunction with this option to specify the session to kill. This may be useful for killing sessions when a buggy peer does not realize the session has ended

But you need to get MAC adresses and session ID (help to logs or tcpdump) then use them adequately with pppoe command :

pppoesk does this in an automatic way :

  • sniff traffic on ethernet interface connected to the DSL modem
  • search for MAC addresses and session ID
  • forge PPPoE PADT packet
  • send the packet


PPPoE session is closed in seconds on the access concentrator side, and it’s possible to re-establish a new one immediately.


Of course it’s possible to achieve same result with a shell script, but it’s a bit less easy

I first wrote this program to enhance my knowledge in C and to learn libnet and libpcap libraries.


No longer having access to PPPoE equipement, I can’t test pppoesk anymore.

However here is the Github page of pppoesk for patchs.


  • pppoesk-1.1.tar.gz - SHA256 e82f332ee8d77a913b9dac9036939baca3eeafb0a8654d429b5adc169da87948