Every host MUST implement an ICMP Echo server function that receives Echo Requests and sends corresponding Echo Replies. A host SHOULD also implement an application-layer interface for sending an Echo Request and receiving an Echo Reply, for diagnostic purposes.
An ICMP Echo Request destined to an IP broadcast or IP multicast address MAY be silently discarded.
This neutral provision results from a passionate debate between those who feel that ICMP Echo to a broadcast address provides a valuable diagnostic capability and those who feel that misuse of this feature can too easily create packet storms.
The IP source address in an ICMP Echo Reply MUST be the same as the specific-destination address (defined in Section 126.96.36.199) of the corresponding ICMP Echo Request message.
Data received in an ICMP Echo Request MUST be entirely included in the resulting Echo Reply. However, if sending the Echo Reply requires intentional fragmentation that is not implemented, the datagram MUST be truncated to maximum transmission size (see Section 3.3.3) and sent.
Echo Reply messages MUST be passed to the ICMP user interface, unless the corresponding Echo Request originated in the IP layer.
If a Record Route and/or Time Stamp option is received in an ICMP Echo Request, this option (these options) SHOULD be updated to include the current host and included in the IP header of the Echo Reply message, without "truncation". Thus, the recorded route will be for the entire round trip.
If a Source Route option is received in an ICMP Echo Request, the return route MUST be reversed and used as a Source Route option for the Echo Reply message.