Why do Linux Kernel log “martian source” in log file /var/log/messages?

Mention of martian source in file /var/log/messages indicates a packet received on the active network interface eth0 whose source or destination IP address is not correct.

An example of this scenario is source network IP address is already configured on the current system throwing martian source in log files. All this indicates a configuration error in your system that you need to investigate.

The kernel parameter, net.ipv4.conf.all.log_martians controls log entry in /var/log/messages. This is executed when the kernel receives a network packet with an incorrect source and/or destination IPv4 address.

To change behavior, set parameter value in /etc/sysctl.conf with net.ipv4.conf.all.log_martians = 1

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