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How To Crash the Internet

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the sound-of-a-millions-memes-melting dept.

The Internet 166

rudy_wayne writes "We know you can take down Web sites with Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. We know that a government, like Egypt's, can shut down an entire country's Internet access. And, we thought we knew that you can't take down the entire Internet. It turns out we could be wrong. In a report from New Scientist, Max Schuchard, a computer science graduate student, and his buddies claim they've found a way to launch DDoS attacks on Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) network routers that could crash the Internet."

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n00bs (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199376)

I've got much better ways to cra

Re:n00bs (-1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199400)

Why did you click on submit before finishing your sentence?

eh? Eh? EH???

Yeah, thought so. The internets are still on.

Re:n00bs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199516)

Yet why was the AC's post funny, and yours not? Yeah, thought so. Yours was just lame.

Re:n00bs (0)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199554)

Like I it's not the millionth time i've heard the old "oh noes, the internet is de

Re:n00bs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199954)

Like I it's not the millionth time i've heard the old "oh noes, the internet is de

For some reason a lot of people on Slashdot think that repeating the same joke over and over for many hundreds of times is the height of humor. It's like the joke really was funny back in the distant past when it was original and they are forever trying to recapture that moment instead of moving on to new jokes. They look at you funny and think you're strange when you don't think that predictable, repetitive jokes are so amusing. I guess they just can't imagine your perspective and assume you must be just trying to cause them grief, like everyone else really should love redundant jokes just because they do. I feel bad for them, they will never appreciate the creativity and witty components of humor, knowing it only in some cookie-cutter sort of way that's a shadow of what real humor is all about.

Speaking of Internet annoyances that are not so humorous... I have a torrent that keeps crapping out. Every now and then it stalls and the download rate drops to 0 bytes per second. If I click "stop torrent" and then restart it, then data starts downloading again. When I click "stop" and "start" what is that doing that the client couldn't just automatically arrange on its own? Note there are several hundred seeds and maybe a couple of hundred leachers on this torrent. This bullshit is making it take over 1-2 weeks when a download this size should take a day or two.

Re:n00bs (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200078)

Hey, don't get me wrong. I'm all for repetitive jokes. With suitable timing, they can be a good 'badum tisch'. But much as I always found this one funny, I was always amused more by the impossibility of its very nature (Unless you are using a live see-as-they-type app like ICQ used to have, remember the first time you used that with someone you were flirting with online?). I just felt the urge to call on that impossibility today.

Of course the AC that replied to said calling seemed to be on the defense, obviously assuming I was attacking the OP. That just made the whole little debacle even funnier (in my little mixed up world, that is).

Re:n00bs (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200488)

"You must be new here."

Re:n00bs (1)

smitty97 (995791) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199992)

You all forgot to put the #*D(@5&%h++ NO CARRIER

Re:n00bs (1)

scottv67 (731709) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200060)

>#*D(@5&%h

WHAT? My mother was a saint! GET OUT!

Re:n00bs (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200144)

Smitty, are you one of the Imagination Movers?

Re:n00bs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199604)

Meh, after the 100th disconnected-joke it gets kind of stale and tom17's post becomes funnier ... at least relatively.

Also, Candleja

Re:n00bs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199590)

Are you (by any chance) Canadian?

Re:n00bs (0)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200148)

It's okay. If the internets go down, you can call my BBS and chat. Or connect to usenet (rec.arts.tv, rec.arts.startrek, etc):

ATDT5601750
(doo daa dee dah dit dah doo) (whoooosh)
(aaaaaaaaaa)
CONNECT 56000

WELCOME TO C&%'S EMPORIUM FOR SLASHDOT, USENET, AND $[56FREE FLOPPY RIPS$[55. ENJOY YOUR STAY.
USERID: ****
PASSWD: ********************
ANSI ON? NO.

MENU (? FOR HELP): ___

+++
ATH
%&@&!$#58)%)!@&
CARRIER LOST

Re:n00bs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35200212)

There's still USENET out there. I thought they shut that all down as a repository of Child pornography.

Re:n00bs (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200726)

"In 2008, Verizon Communications, Time Warner Cable and Sprint Nextel signed an agreement with Attorney General of New York Andrew Cuomo to shut down access to sources of child pornography.[45] Time Warner Cable stopped offering access to Usenet. Verizon reduced its access to the "Big 8" hierarchies. Sprint stopped access to the alt.* hierarchies. AT&T stopped access to the alt.binaries.* hierarchies."
- wikipedia

Of course there are still plenty of other places to get Usenet. Like groups.google.com (formerly dejanews.com)

Seriously, though. (1)

mfh (56) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199796)

You won't crash the internet by crashing into the internet.

Re:Seriously, though. (1)

Magic5Ball (188725) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200742)

Not news: Academics unclear on the concept of route flap dampening propose theoretical attack on infrastructure with which they have no experience.

Re:n00bs (1)

sjs132 (631745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35201046)

I just create a loop back on my cable modem... Ha! Take that, no more tubes!

Big Red Button (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199402)

The big red button does it all.

Re:Big Red Button (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199508)

The big red button does it all.

No! Don't click the big red button - it's a trap! You'll be Rick Rolled!!

Re:Big Red Button (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199608)

This isn't the "easy button"

Re:Big Red Button (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199738)

And it's much easier to find than the little pink one (although, I keep insisting it doesn't exist but my wife says I'm just not trying hard enough).

Crashing the net is pointless (4, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199408)

Where is he going to go brag afterwards? It's a self-defeating endeavor.

Re:Crashing the net is pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199436)

He just wants to get the GrandTour medal. He doesn't care if he gets disavowed or not.

Re:Crashing the net is pointless (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199438)

Who needs the Internet? He'll just call up the leaders of the free world and demand ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

Re:Crashing the net is pointless (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199452)

Ah, screw it! We'll just do what we always do - steal a nuke and hold the world hostage. /doctorevilpinky

Re:Crashing the net is pointless (1)

t0p (1154575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200302)

Shouldn't that be "doctorevilthebrain"?

Pinky: Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?

The Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky - try to take over the world!

Re:Crashing the net is pointless (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200030)

Where is he going to go brag afterwards? It's a self-defeating endeavor.

Hey, some of us still have cradle modems and BBS software...

Re:Crashing the net is pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35200098)

got any door games?

Re:Crashing the net is pointless (1)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200376)

Some of us actually wrote the BBS software ;-)

Thanks Max (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199416)

You're the reason we can't have nice things.

People have been thinking about this for ages (2)

djlemma (1053860) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199420)

I remember a decade ago, somebody from l0pht was discussing how they could take down the entire internet and keep it down for a while. I'm sure many people have made a point of keeping up with advancing technology and continuing to find ways that they could take down the internet itself...

Still interesting to read about though.

Re:People have been thinking about this for ages (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199488)

BGP route poisoning has been around since BGP was invented. Every few years we get a story about how China or someone blackholed a huge swath of the 'net with a bad advertisement. This is nothing new, blah blah, internet is tied together with bubblegum and shoelaces. However there's almost always a way to "fix" routers on different networks since they're mostly independently managed, so you're looking at downtime of a few days to a week max. Nothing that's going to destroy the fabric of society.

Re:People have been thinking about this for ages (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199636)

Nothing that's going to destroy the fabric of society.

One Word:

Strategically placed EMP devices.

OK that's four words but you get the picture.

Re:People have been thinking about this for ages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35200298)

Which has what to do BGP route poisoning?

Re:People have been thinking about this for ages (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35201014)

who needs something fancy like an EMP device?
One word:
Strategically dropped meteors.

How is this news? (4, Interesting)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199432)

How is this news?
we've know for years that BGP has problems.
it's broken big section of the net before.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AS_7007_incident [wikipedia.org]

Re:How is this news? (4, Informative)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199504)

Re:How is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199758)

http://lists.ucc.gu.uwa.edu.au/pipermail/lore/2006-August/000040.html ..isn't an academic page. It's also referred to as lists.ucc.asn.au which is home to the University Computer Club mailinglists.

Shameless plug of the best computer club you've likely never heard of till now. Pop in on irc, and you could even chat to the FreeBSD kernel and networking dev who wrote that very post.

Re:How is this news? (5, Interesting)

sseshan (258488) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199830)

This is not the same type of attack -- the AS7007 problem was a route hijack attack.

The sigcomm paper describes a more basic route convergence issue with path vector protocols

The paper describes the use of packet loss to create a BGP session failure and the impact of repeated announce/withdraw traffic to slow other routers. This is also not new. However, the appropriate point of reference is "RFC 1266 - Experience with the BGP Protocol" (http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1266.html). Read section 9 -- this points to how packet loss results in BGP failures and points to how ensuring BGP packets have priority fixes this. This was published in 1991 :-) and is generally well known.

Similarly, I haven't read the referenced NDSS paper (http://www-users.cs.umn.edu/~hopper/lci-ndss.pdf) but I am also surprised that BGP holddown timers don't prevent some of the related route churn problems.

Re:How is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199690)

What's preventing them from using POTS to do BGP updates periodically to create the separate network required? Some routers still have built-in ISDN links. You don't have to build a 2nd internet to have it work. btw, McLean, VA where that incident occurred is suspiciously close to Langley It's mentioned in the cnet reference article [cnet.com] .

Re:How is this news? (3, Informative)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199802)

Because, as described in TFA, the method used to exploit BGP is totally different from previous known methods. This one is about DDoS-ing a single high-traffic link between two routes so that neighbouring routers will send BGP updates telling listening parties to route their traffic elsewhere. The DDoS-ing would then stop, traffic resume on the link and new BGP updates being sent. Then another DDoS on the same link and so on. Eventually the amount of BGP updates would build up a huge backlog overloading every router in the world.

The attack is possible in theory. In reality, you would need a huge botnet concentrating on a single vulnerable link to be able to pull off the attack. Generally high traffic links are also high capacity links, so the botnets size would have to be gigantic to disrupt a major link.

Re:How is this news? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#35201306)

Generally high traffic links are also high capacity links, so the botnets size would have to be gigantic to disrupt a major link.

It sounds like you RTFA, so you know they call for a botnet that is 250,000 strong. That is not gigantic.
Maybe a few years ago that would have been considered one of the world's largest botnets.

Off the top of my head, the now decapitated Mariposa botnet was 12+ million strong.
Currently bagel and rustock are the top two with a couple million bots each.

What troubles me more is that one person could do the exact same attack just by standing next to the BGP router.
China doesn't need to DDOS the world, they just need to turn their BGP routers on and off until everything grinds to a halt.

Image (0, Offtopic)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199468)

The stock photo in the article says "Where's the internet gone?" but it's just a picture of a couple of people using old computers.

I often see things like this where they feel they HAVE to put a photo in, a meaningful photo to help get the point across. To help get this point across they put in captions to make it clear, but half the time they put ZERO effort in to actually finding a suitable image. For this one, they could have at least found a picture with someone with their arms up in despair at the interwebs being down. But no, just people playing games or something on flickery old CRT monitors, or something.

You know what? This REALLY GRINDS MY GEARS. Back to you Tom.

Re:Image (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199546)

There's also one with people in cars floating in a flood. So trashing the net now creates floods. Neat.

Re:Image (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199884)

Hahaha yes, quite :)

Re:Image (1)

t0p (1154575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200430)

I don't see why not. The internet going down would cause planes to fall from the sky, and (OMG) Facebook and (OMG) Twitter would stop working. So floods would be the least of our problems. Well, the least of your problems - I live on a hill/in a boat/something.

Re:Image (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#35201000)

... and (OMG) Facebook and (OMG) Twitter would stop working.

I wonder if these people would like any help. I have a couple of machines I could install XP on for that purpose...

Re:Image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35201026)

UDP floods, maybe.

Re:Image (1)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199646)

Even worse is when they have a generic IT-related article, an put an image of a keyboard next to the story. The BBC does this a lot - I know that getting stock photos (that are not copyright) is a pain, but really ... a keyboard?

Re:Image (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199974)

Block bbcimg.co.uk and the World is good again. Well, other than the atrocious news page layout.

easier (1)

tarscher (1000260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199524)

1. make sex home video with Jessica Alba 2. Internet crash

Re:easier (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35200016)

you forgot...

3. PROFIT!!!!

Re:easier (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200352)

I'm fairly certain he covered all of the profit in item 1.

Easy Fix (1)

piripiri (1476949) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199548)

Re:Easy Fix (2)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199596)

Obligatory South Park reference. Involving video with kid unplugging and replugging a giant LinkSys-like router to fix the internet.

Unfortunately the 60 second clip was taken down due to copyright issues, so there is no link for me to back up this reference with.

Re:Easy Fix (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200028)

Someone needs to unplug, replug South Park.
Zing!
(Special tonight: Grouper.)

Sigh... (5, Informative)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199592)

Can nobody find the actual paper? Oh wait, here [umn.edu] it is, free from the altering lens of the media.

How to describe the situation (1)

pehrs (690959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199594)

Read this:
http://www-users.cs.umn.edu/~schuch/papers/lci-ndss.pdf [umn.edu]

Then read this:
http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1174 [phdcomics.com]

It's a simulation of the impact of a coordinated attack on BGP. We know since a long time back that BGP is vulnerable to a number of attacks, this being one of them. The researcher has done a good job with the simulations and putting numbers on it.

Nothing else to see here, move along. The writer of the news article has no idea what he/she is talking about. We have much larger stability issues (such as Network Neutrality, IPv6 swap over and government blocking) to deal with, and theoretical attacks by large scale bot nets on BGP Is not something that will keep me up at night.

Yes, you can attack BGP ... (2)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199598)

and 20 minutes later your upstream provider will kill your links and stop taking BGP announcements from you and life will go one.

Seriously Taco? Did you take a timothy pill and get retarded too? Why the fuck are you posting these retarded stories about things we've known for literally 30 years and has probably come up at least 10 times on slashdot in the last 5 years.

Might as well just redirect slashdot.org to 4chan, the IQ seems to be about the same now days.

Re:Yes, you can attack BGP ... (2)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199664)

If you'd like to stop the specific retarded 'attack' posted in the actual story ... turn on route flap dampening on your router ... which is probably already on, which will stop his 'attack' cold.

Its not even a BGP attack, its just a DDoS that some how is mysteriously going to work better because of BGP route flapping ... which won't happen since the route will just get dampened into oblivion more and more each time it bounces.

Re:Yes, you can attack BGP ... (1)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200386)

I agree. At my previous job, we lost internet once. Called up the ISP and they had no idea at first. Ten minutes later, they called and said there was road construction on the interstate about 50 miles south of us and someone cut the line.

In under 2 hours, they had us running again.

If they can fix a physical break in that amount of time, I should think they could block a bad BGP.

google (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199618)

Everyone knows you just have to type google into Google. So please noone does that, even for fun!

Re:google (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200000)

weird, if you google search engine, internet search or even just search on google, the first result isn't even google. What's up with that?

Society (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199622)

Would it be worth doing just for one day to see how we all cope, or is the prospect of thousands of teenagers hanging themselves because they can't milk their cows in Farmville too much to deal with?

Re:Society (1)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199718)

Won't somebody think of the cows?

Re:Society (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199846)

And nothing of value was lost.

Re:Society (1)

GuruBuckaroo (833982) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199888)

You're vastly misinterpreting the target market for Farmville. It's not the teenagers, it's the stay-at-home moms. The average Farmville player is a 43-year-old woman [infosolutionsgroup.com] .

Re:Society (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35200628)

Sounds like a win-win.

Ask Moss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199628)

Oh c'mon, everybody knows all you have to do is type "Google" into Google. I really don't know what's happening to kid's education nowadays. Meh.

Re:Ask Moss (1)

cpscotti (1032676) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200644)

The Internet has no weight!

Not likely to happen (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199640)

BGP updated between routers are sent with different QoS marking than normal traffic. So even on fully utilized links BGP updates will have priority and will be exchanged between routers.

Big Whoop! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199676)

So they can crash the internet. Big whoop! I found the END of it last week. Had to go back.

Don't Panic! (5, Interesting)

Fzz (153115) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199706)

I was quoted briefly in the New Scientist article. Here's the longer version of what I said to the reporter.

I've taken a quick look at this paper, and at the paper describing the actual attack on BGP sessions that this paper depends on (Zhang, Mao and Wang, 2007 (reference 74 in the paper).

For many years a number of us have speculated that it might be possible to bring down large parts of the Internet by inducing sufficient churn in BGP routing. In principle, it seems it might be possible, but doing it in practice is very different. The closest we've seen in the real world was Jan 25th 2003, when the SQL Slammer worm spread worldwide in a matter on minutes. It affected about 75,000 computers, and then each constantly tried to infect more victims. This causes widespread congestion, and the worldwide BGP routing table decreased in size from about 127,000 routes to 123,000. Some of this was probably due to congestion disrupting routing sessions, and some might have been due to people deliberately disconnecting to avoid further damage. In any event, the Internet backbone survived the event unscathed, but quite a few edge sites fell off the Internet.

The attack described in the paper supposes a larger number of compromised computers (250,000), but the Internet has got bigger and routers have got faster since 2003, so likely the relative traffic levels would be similar. The attack also proposes using the targetted attack described in Zhang, Mao and Wang, and targetting specific links to create maximum effect. So it's reasonable to suppose that if such an attack were successful, the impact would be greater than the Slammer event.

So, there are two questions:

  • 1. could you disrupt routing associations in the way described.
  • 2. if you could, would the effects be as described in the paper.

In answer to 1: Zhang, Mao and Wang describe in their paper how to defend against such attacks - by simply enabling prioritization of routing traffic - something that is possible on most commercial routers. If ISPs do this, then it seems that the attack in the paper would be thwarted. I don't know how many ISPs do enable this, but if such an attack were seen in the wild, I'm certain most of them would.

On 2: even if you could disrupt routing associations as described, I doubt the Internet would behave as described. The simulations in the paper make a lot of simplifying assumptions, which is necessary to simulate on this scale. But in hiding all the internal topology of ISP networks, they also hide bottlenecks that would make the attack less effective. And the way they model routers queuing routes internally is simply wrong - no router has a large enough queue size to delay processing by 100 minutes, as described in the paper. As a result I have no confidence in the predictions of how the global routing system responds to this attack.

To be clear: nobody knows if it's possible to bring down the global Internet routing system. The attack in the paper probably could cause significant disruption, at least until ISPs reconfigured their routers. But I doubt the attack would be successful in the way described in the paper.

Re:Thwarted (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199832)

I'll ask you since you're only of only a few people posting real info. Maybe the attack could be thwarted, but would someone get a nasty bill for damages? an acquaintance told me that they were afraid to host their small web service because someone DDOSed an entire data center, who promptly passed the blame for damages incurred. So forget the big sites, do we have an answer to random DDOS attacks all over the net, jsay 3 steps below the BGP level?

Re:Don't Panic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35201106)

All traffic being watched by China of course would love to see a repriortization happen before their eyes.. want to know what it feels like to be routed?

Yet another wannabe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199708)

who finds out what BGP stands for.

Re:Yet another wannabe (1)

cpscotti (1032676) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200660)

Breat Gritain Pounds

Is this really a good story? (1)

Mr.Fork (633378) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199712)

I mean, how long before some mafia or internet retard decides to launch a DDOS on BGP network routers and then demand $5 million in ransom paid to an off-shore account in the Caribbean. Wait a minute...

Re:Is this really a good story? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35200494)

Minor details: 1) How to you make your demands if there's no Internet? 2) How is the money transferred if there's no Internet?

Roy and Moss in IT told me ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35199728)

... that if you type "Google" into Google, you can break the Internet.

while many scientists (0)

nimbius (983462) | more than 3 years ago | (#35199746)

have conjectured for quite some time as to the brevity of this issue, only now have we seen the issue successfully coupled with a graduate students attempt to secure gainful employment after his inevitable entry into real society.

observing scientists have calculated this graduate students chances of employment were, until this papers introduction, low enough to ensure he spend the rest of his adult life in his parents basement working on mechanical turk projects and azeroth raids. Only now have scientists been confident enough to conclude this paper, if carefully and properly handled, could propel this graduate student from the ranks of a perpetual computer science education directly toward a rewarding career as a dominos pizza delivery driver, or even a cable television installation technician.

I hear this at the help desk all the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35200072)

Users call in and say "the Internet is down" so I'm guessing this happens more than this article is letting on!

The article is crap (2)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200172)

You can stop reading at "cyberweapon". Interestingly, the author onhis webpage mentions that he is a victim of this : http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php?f=1174 [phdcomics.com]

The paper making this madness appear on the news is apparently this one : http://www-users.cs.umn.edu/~schuch/papers/lci-ndss.pdf [umn.edu]

It describes an attack on BGP routers. From its abstract (that could be the f***ing summary of an article of a "news for nerds" website) :

Through simulations we show that botnets on the order of 250, 000 nodes can increase process- ing delays from orders of microseconds to orders of hours.

But also what sensationalist newspaper will NEVER publish short of death threaths :

We also propose and validate a defense against CXPST. Through simulation we demonstrate that current defenses are insufficient to stop CXPST. We propose an alternative, low cost, defense that is successful against CXPST, even if only the top 10% of Autonomous Systems by degree deploy it. Additionally, we consider more long term defenses that stop not only CXPST, but similar attacks as well.

Ask Snake Plissken (1)

MikeDirnt69 (1105185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200276)

He knows how to do it.

Why not just throttle the propagation? (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200310)

I gather that while one individual router is taken down by an ordinary DDoS (which is difficult to fend off), the global cascade effect results from BGP traffic generated by the attacked router. If the router just waited a while before announcing itself after reconnecting, it would strain the surrounding routers a lot less.
The neighboring routers could do the same - simply wait before propagating any changes, and suddenly out of a hundred BGP updates per minute coming in from the affected link, only a single one is passed on.

The infrastructure would be somewhat slower to respond to sudden changes, but those aren't supposed to happen regularly anyway.

"claim they've found a way" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35200446)

Tips or GTFO

We know that a country, like Egypt, can shut ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35200598)

"We know that a country, like Egypt, can shut down a country's entire Internet access."

You mean a country like United States of America. Thanks hypocrite Obama. You decry the squelching of free speech in Egypt, and then push forward with the same Internet kill switch measure here.

Naive assumption? (2)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200678)

From TFA:

So is internet meltdown now inevitable? Perhaps not. The attack is unlikely to be launched by malicious hackers, because mapping the network to find a target link is a highly technical task, and anyone with a large enough botnet is more likely to be renting it out for a profit.

..unless, of course, the would-be attacker is some malevolent government. I don't think I need mention any names here, except that at least one of them starts with a 'C'.

Re:Naive assumption? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35200994)

I knew it! Blame Canada!

"Researchers" with zero practical experience (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | more than 3 years ago | (#35200680)

Hate to break it to you. Your likely to see better results attacking the worlds root name servers. BGP implementations for all their faults do have countermeasures against propogation of frequent state changes as if they even need them. I don't know how many zombies you need to successfully attack a single ordinary 10GB link.. Just setting a basic CIR or priority queue for BGP sessions would prevent the success of any such attack. If you want to slow down the Internet why not just have your botnet army consume bandwidth..find a few thousand of the longest paths with the most hops (amplification) and pounce... You won't shut down the Internet but you may succeed in pissing off a lot of people especially if your attack favors International links. I'm afraid it takes a little more creativity than ddos to crash the Internet.

Oh yeah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35200710)

Prove it!

This is bunk news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35200734)

As a player for one of the biggies, I can assure you between CoPP and other measures like MD5 between peers, this attack vector is old news.

claim they've found a way to ... crash the Interne (1)

TVorace (1996174) | more than 3 years ago | (#35201058)

Tips or GTFO

C'mon people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35201078)

everybody knows at this point that if you type "google" into google, you can break the Internet ;)

RFC 2439 (2)

ZerXes (1986108) | more than 3 years ago | (#35201102)

Isn't this exactly what route flap damping (RFC 2439) that is used on most BGProuters today is made to prevent? Wouldn't the routers just class the link as "flapping" and ignore updates for it for a while?
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