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ICMP redirect messages are used to redirect a source host to use a different gateway that may be closer to the destination. These redirect messages are sent by the receiving gateway and the source host should adapt it's forwarding accordingly when receiving this message. ICMP Redirects are most often used in source routing environments where the source host calculates routing paths to all destinations itself.

Even though the gateway has instructed the source to redirect it's traffic, it still forwards the original datagram that triggered the redirect message, however the source should no longer continue to direct packets to that gateway and should instead use the gateway specified in the response to the redirect.

Most routers come with the option to set the router to ignore or drop ICMP redirects because they can be used to attack networks by confusing hosts as to where the correct default gateway is. ICMP redirects may also be used to amplify SMURF or FRAGGLE attacks or to set up Man-in-the-Middle attacks.

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