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Jamming Cellphones with Text Messages

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the only-one-man-would-dare-give-me-the-raspberry dept.

Communications 276

Steve writes "Some Penn State professors and students have published a way to jam cellular voice service with simple text messages. From the article: 'Because text messages are transmitted on the same signal that is used to set up voice calls, just 165 messages a second is enough to disrupt all cellphones in Manhattan.' Cellular providers, of course, fired back, one stating that it 'constantly and aggressively monitors potential threats to the integrity and security of its network.'"

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One problem. (4, Interesting)

Musteval (817324) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725351)

165 messages a second would cost you about ten thousand dollars a minute, at the prices the cell companies charge.

Re:One problem. (0)

koh (124962) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725378)

So we got two problems, not only do the protocols not scale well, but the prices as well...

Re:One problem. (1, Redundant)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725536)

This explains alot around here.
Did you get all of that? Can you still hear me?

Re:One problem. (3, Informative)

jerw134 (409531) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725390)

$990/minute, assuming a charge of 10 cents per message.

Re:One problem. (2, Informative)

maxrate (886773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725447)

You can send text messages for free via e-mail, recieving is usually free too.

Re:One problem. (1, Informative)

kd5ujz (640580) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725672)

true, and if other providers are like cingular, you can just write a script to go through a given range of telephone prefixes. with cingular, an email to 1231231234@my.cingular.com will result in a text message being sent to 123-123-1234's cell phone.

Re:One problem. (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725541)

$990/minute, assuming a charge of 10 cents per message.

Ch-rist! For that price, I could have a dozen women heavy breathing on my cellphone, telling me how much they love it when I do that to them!

Re:One problem. (1)

evildogeye (106313) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725393)

Well, at 10 cents a message I think this would cost around $520 million per year. Quiet an expensive DOS.

Re:One problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725407)

Quiet!!!

Re:One problem. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725483)

So how much would it cost at 0 cent per minute [google.com] ?

Re:One problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725588)

<thought type="evil">
Hmm.. I've often thought that there should be laws against SMS spam - I wonder if a bot sending a few hundred thousand messages to various lawmakers would convince them such an idea has merit? :o)
</thought >

Re:One problem. (2, Interesting)

LocoMan (744414) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725639)

Wonder how long until they add a capcha thing to that one (if they haven't already, don't have any number handy to try it). My cell phone provider here in Venezuela have had a simmilar system for a while on their website, but recently lots of people started using it to spam so they added a capcha system a few months ago (and a bit annoying one at that, you not only have to read the numbers but also input them by clicking on a keypad that shows up on the page where the numbers appear in random locations on it).

Re:One problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725401)

165 messages a second would cost you about ten thousand dollars a minute, at the prices the cell companies charge.

Many people have plans with unlimited text messaging for $5 or $10 per month.

Re:One problem. (2, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725417)

Don't they offer unlimited text messages for some sort of fee? Also, there are online services that allow you to send out text messages for free (i think you can do it by e-mail)

Re:One problem. (1)

TheVoice900 (467327) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725755)

If you are sending the text message by email, eg: #########@carrier.com the carriers are the ones who will be sending out the message to the phone, I would think that they are smart enough to control the number of text messages sent by the service.

Text is low priority raffic (4, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725419)

AFAIK, text is typically low priority traffic, but that can depend on configuration, network type etc. Network control is highest, voice next, followed by data and text.

The reason for this prioritisation is that delaying isochronous (eg. voice) data makes it unusable, but backing up text is OK. If you try jamming with text all you'll end up with is a load of backed up text.

What? (4, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725486)

Your comments directly contradict the NY Times article...

The system works even when cellular calls do not because text messages are small packets of data that are easy to send, and because the companies transmit them on the high-priority channel whose main purpose is to set up cellphone calls.


Do you have a source?

Re:What? (3, Informative)

timmyf2371 (586051) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725520)

I don't have a source, but from my experience with Orange (in the UK), I've found it to be the same as the OP.

One day while I was sending text messages I was getting a surprisingly high percentage of failed sends, so I called their technical helpline, gave my postal code etc and was told the base station nearest to me was undergoing maintanence and thus would have a reduced capacity for around 24 hours, and because voice traffic had priority over SMS/data there may be intermittent issues.

Re:What? (2, Informative)

glesga_kiss (596639) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725767)

You believed what Orange Customer Support said? Let me guess...you don't check out many cellular formus do you? ;-) They fib about technical problems all the time.

Re:What? (1)

ejito (700826) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725532)

My text messages get rejected when I send too many from my phone (I pay 10 bucks a month for unlimited IM adn text).

Re:Text is low priority raffic (2, Informative)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725574)

sending smsm messages uses the control channel, which is required for setting up each voice call. ever noticed sometimes you can send/recv SMS messages but when you try to call you get no service

Re:One problem. (1)

red_kenotic (842553) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725432)

Need to fine a number to text! If only i wasn't a geek.

Re:One problem. (1)

joey_knisch (804995) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725675)

What retardicon labled the first message as redundant?

Seriouly. Sometimes I wonder.

Re:One problem. (2, Insightful)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725739)

Um, no...I have a plugin for firefox that lets me send free text messages...it works, I've used it...I think it's from google actually, not sure about that though.

Not with Verizon (2, Informative)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725763)

.... with Verizon's *in* network, $5 a month flat rate to other Verizon members.

Verizon kicks ass.

-everphilski-

Macslash fans plz read.... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725354)

macslash's gone cold I'm wondering why I got out of bed at all
The morning rain clouds up my window and I can't see at all
And even if I could it'll all be gray but your picture on my wall
It reminds me, that it's not so bad -- it's not so bad

Dear Ben, I wrote but you still ain't callin
I left my email, my ICQ, and my yahoo chat at the bottom
I sent two emails back in autumn, you must not-a got 'em
There probably was a problem with your mail.app or somethin
Sometimes I scribble email addees too sloppy when I jot 'em
but anyways; fsck it, what's been up? Man how's your boxes?
My boxes is mac too, I'm bout to be a compiler
once I learn gcc,
I'ma go on and compile for hours
I read about your Palm Pilot too I'm sorry
I had a friend lose his Palm over at the airport in Maradonna
I know you probably hear this everyday, but I'm your biggest fan
I even read all your bullshit Mac news and Microsoft's man
I got a room full of your posters and your pictures man
I like the way you sold your ass out too, that shit was fat
Anyways, I hope you get this man, hit me back,
just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan
This is Aaron

Dear Ben, you still ain't called or wrote, I hope you have a chance
I ain't mad - I just think it's FSCKED UP you don't answer fans
If you didn't wanna talk to me outside your Mac World
you didn't have to, but you coulda signed an autograph for Matthew
That's my Senior sys admin he's only 26 years old
We waited on a 9600 baud for you,
four hours and you just said, "No."
That's pretty shitty man - you're like his fsckin idol
He wants to be just like you man, he likes you more than I do
I ain't that mad though, I just don't like bein lied to
Remember when we met in Boston - you said if I'd write you
you would write back - see I'm just like you in a way
I never had a clue about shit either
I gcc'd shit with my wife then beat her
I can relate to what you're saying in your page
so when I feel like rmusering I read macslash to begin the rage
cause I don't really got shit else so that shit helps when I'm depressed
I even got a tattoo of macslash across the chest
Sometimes I even packet myself to see how much it floods
It's like adrenaline, the DDoS is such a sudden rush of blood
See everything you say is real, and I respect you cause you tell it
My girlfriend's jealous cause I talk about you 24/7
But she don't know you like I know you Ben, no one does
She don't know what it was like for people like us growin up
You gotta call me man, I'll be the biggest fan you'll ever lose
Sincerely yours, Aaron -- P.S.
We should be together too

Dear Mister-I'm-Too-Good-To-Waste-A-Packet-On-My-Fans,
this'll be the last packet I ever send your ass
It's been six months and still no word - I don't deserve it?
I know you got my last two emails
I wrote the @ signs on 'em perfect
So this is my payload I'm sending you, I hope you hear it
I'm on my modem now, I'm doing 9600 baud so fear it
Hey Ben, I drank a fifth of vodka, you dare me to code?
You know the song by Deep Purple or Slayer
its irrelevant by playing on my linux player
while I write some php scripts and play some Dragonslayer
That's kinda how shit is, you coulda rescued me from drowning
Now it's too late - I'm on a 1000 downloads now, I'm drowsy
and all I wanted was a lousy letter or a call
I hope you know I ripped +ALL+ of your pictures off the wall
I love you Ben, we coulda been together, think about it
You ruined it now, I hope you can't sleep and you dream about it
And when you dream I hope you can't sleep and you SCREAM about it
I hope your conscience EATS AT YOU and you can't BREATHE without me
See Ben {*screaming*} Shut up bitch! I'm tryin to code
Hey Ben, that's my senior admin screamin from the comode
but I didn't cut the power off, I just rebooted, see I ain't like you
cause if rm -rf'd we'd suffer more, and then the boxes die too
Well, gotta go, I'm almost BGP bridged now
Oh shit, I forgot, how'm I supposed to send this packet out?

Dear Aaron, I meant to write you sooner but I just been busy
You said your box is running now, how'd you like your gcc?
Look, I'm really flattered you would install OS X x86
and here's an autograph for your senior sys admin
I wrote it on the Starter cap
I'm sorry I didn't see you at the show, I musta missed you
Don't think I did that shit intentionally just to diss you
But what's this shit you said about you like to DDoS lamers too?
I say that shit just clownin dog,
c'mon - how fucked up is you?
You got some issues Aaron, I think you need some counseling
so heres some more Mac stories to keep your ass busy when you get down some
And what's this shit about us meant to be together?
I sold macslash for thousands so now I'm a single jetsetter
I really think you and your boxes need each other
or maybe you just need to treat them better
I hope you get to read this letter, I just hope it reaches you in time
before you hurt yourself, I think that you'll be doin just fine
if you relax a little, I'm glad I inspire you but Aaron why are you so mad? Try to understand, that Mac and MS is just grand
I just don't want you to do some crazy shit
I seen this one shit on the news a couple weeks ago that made me sick
Some dude was drunk and switched his router for a bridge
and his packets were blackholed, and his DNS couldn't get digged
and in the colo they found a tape, but they didn't say who it was to
Come to think about, his name was.. it was you
Damn!

What flavour? (0)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725355)

Would that be raspberry jam?

Blackberry jam (4, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725368)

more like!

Re:What flavour? (0)

spyder913 (448266) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725511)

Sir, we've been jammed.
What kind of jam?
Tastes like strawberry, sir.
Strawberry jam? There's only one man that uses strawberry jam. LONESTAR!!!

Expensive (0, Redundant)

opusman (33143) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725357)

At 25 cents per text message that will add up pretty quickly!

Re:Expensive (1)

Anakron (899671) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725445)

They're sending the messages through the internet - through some sort of gateway. Do you still have to pay for that?

Re:Expensive (1)

coolcyber (901771) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725513)

Payment is dependent on the type of service the receiver has if ur sending from net. if u want to send an sms msg to ur cell, send a mail from ur mail account to ur "cellnumber@providermailid.com/net/etc". the provider mail id varies and most of the time its not same as the provider name. For cingular its cellnumber@MMODE.com.

Re:Expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725662)

For cingular its cellnumber@MMODE.com.
Incidentally, T-Mobile's is cellnumber@tmomail.net, and they have some sort of spam filtering set up. MailShield, I think.

Re:Expensive (2, Insightful)

Khyber (864651) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725757)

In some cases, cellular services charge for receiveing and transmitting text messages, simply because it's using up their bandwidth available for routing calls/connecting calls. Cingular is an example, and that's coming from the Cingular customer sitting next to me telling me about this. Never seen the bill, but I've heard of the price. $0.10 a message, incoming or outgoing.

165 msgs a sec OR (1)

maxrate (886773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725363)

You could send 165 text messages a second OR you could keep calling the phone you want to disrupt!

Re:165 msgs a sec OR (1)

Anakron (899671) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725430)

You're not jamming one phone. 165 messages/sec can take out all of Manhattan. Or so they claim, anyway

Re:165 msgs a sec OR (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725433)

You could send 165 text messages a second OR you could keep calling the phone you want to disrupt!

Except this isn't about disrupting one phone - this is about disrupting the entire regional network. Just the sort thing a criminal or terrorist might want to do during or in the wake of some mal-behavior. So it costs a bunch to send those messages? So what? Bad guys can have some real (or fraudulant) financial resources when that's part of their plan.

Re:165 msgs a sec OR (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725539)

So it costs a bunch to send those messages? So what? Bad guys can have some real (or fraudulant) financial resources when that's part of their plan.

1) Sign cell phone contract with monthly billing.
2) Send massive amounts of text messages.
3) Blow self up.
4) Don't care if phone bill is high at end of month - having too much fun with the 72 virgins.
5) ...
6) Profit?

Re:165 msgs a sec OR (3, Funny)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725603)

6) Profit?

Don't you mean "Prophet?"

Re:165 msgs a sec OR (2, Informative)

maxrate (886773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725607)

Think about it - usually text messages are a max of 200 characters a message X 165 / sec = 33,000 characters a second. 33,000 DIVIDED by 1024 (1k) = 32K/sec of bandwidth. The average telephone call consumes about 19.2K/sec maximum (after compression, so yes a voice circuit can use a heck of a lot less, I believe they say the average duplexing and use of a bi-directional voice link bandwidth efficiency is about 60% as a rule of thunmb --- the consumption of bandwidth generally, meaning at least 40 percent of a call is wasted circuit switched bandwidth on average). So let's say the bandwidth of 165 200 character text messages a second is like the bandwidth of a maximum of 2 to 4 simultanous telephone calls. If you think 2 to 4 simultaneous telephone calls will take down a cellular network, the thing would have stopped working a long time ago.

I'm sure there are at least 165 text messages being sent every second already.

Yes I do know there are store and forwarding to consider/routing etc, however I find this unlikely.

Re:165 msgs a sec OR (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725649)

If you think 2 to 4 simultaneous telephone calls will take down a cellular network, the thing would have stopped working a long time ago.

But... I think it's not the vox bandwidth - it's that part of the system that manages the call overhead (per the summary, the part of the system that "sets up" the calls). I believe that housekeeping does indeed take place in a smaller, and separate piece of the spectrum and the network's plumbing. Of course, IANATE (I am not a telecommunications engineer). Text messaging piggy-backs on the data that keeps the system and the phones aware of each other - long before a call (and the related bandwidth) is actually assigned to an user that dials/answers. This would be when someone who works for Verizon or Spring would anonymously chime. We can hear you now, good.

Re:165 msgs a sec OR (1)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725601)

165 messages blocks the network, not a phone.

u r hot (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725365)

165 times a second? Beauty.

Re:u r hot (5, Funny)

rk87 (622509) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725412)

Easy enough, about 3 or 4 japanese school girls should be able to send a sustained rate of 180 messages a second.

Re:u r hot (5, Funny)

SeekerDarksteel (896422) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725628)

Yeah, but lets face it. There are so much better things to do with 3 or 4 japanese school girls than text messages.

BugMeNot (1)

MankyD (567984) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725366)

So you don't have to give up your first born:

NY Times Registration [bugmenot.com]

ehh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725367)

Registration article. Fine, I registered -- the NY Times now has a 5300 pound black woman born in 1906 for a new reader as far as they're concerned.

Mark this -1 Offtopic, btw.

Re:ehh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725479)

The websites I'm forced to register for must be puzzled at the amount of interest they have from the Federated States of Micronesia.

Re:ehh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725531)

I AM a 5300# black woman who was born in 1906 you insensitive clod!

Thanks the spammers for that... (0, Offtopic)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725371)

Preface
Spammers have screwed up so much of what was once usable. Yet most users of the Internet are entirely unaware of it. They see spam only as part of being online. They think it's like other advertising, and some even think it's their ISP doing it.

William R. James
March 10, 2003

Thank the Spammers
Oddly enough, I remember a time when closing a relay was considered extremely rude. In the early days of the Internet, everyone who connected to it took some responsibility in helping to ensure that all the Internet's traffic was routed to its destination. Some places had better connections than others and some connections were unavailable at times for various reasons. So part of connecting your machine to the network was sharing the load and donating little bits of bandwidth here and there so the Internet ran smoothly for everyone. Relays were important because sometimes a user's home server was unavailable.

Then came the spammers. Because they abused the relays, like they abuse everything else, the relays had to be turned off. They found that they could abuse the relays and cost others hundreds or even thousands of dollars, but it prevented them from losing the $10 dialup account or free NetZero account. It's like a thief who steals a $1000 wedding ring with priceless sentimental value just to sell it for a $20 cocaine fix. Old software which ran perfectly well had to be replaced just to close the hole which was so important to leave open before. Yeah, thank the spammers for that.

But that's not the only thing the spammers have ruined. Free ISPs were growing. These services weren't perfect, they came with ads which were intentionally in the way, but that paid for the service, so it was OK. Over all, NetZero's service was actually pretty good even if it did have that open window in the way. But spammers learned that they could abuse those too, and their mind-set is "abuse it quickly before it goes away" knowing that the abuse is what will make it go away. But each spammer wants to be the one to milk it dry before the next spammer does, and all of them combined make it useless. Thanks, spammers, thanks a lot.

Try querying any database which has email addresses anywhere in it. They have to either make it pay only, or make you type in something associated with an image before you can retrieve data. Why? Because spammers found out there were valid email addresses in them and started hammering the servers with automated software, grabbing the entire database, using up all the bandwidth 1000 times over, just to harvest a handful of addresses from it to abuse as well. So to defend themselves and keep their servers from crashing, database owners had to make it impossible to query automatically. Thank the spammers.

And let's not forget Usenet. Munging addresses was once considered blatant abuse. Now very few people post with a valid address. If you want to discuss something off-line or off-topic with a poster, you either can't do it via email or you have to manually "decode" and type in their address. Thank spammers for that too.

The spammers claim to be running legitimate businesses, but legitimate businesses who ask for email addresses when you download their product get 99.9% garbage addresses now. Sign up for anything online and you have to use an email address which you don't expect to keep. The trust is rightfully gone. Again, that's something else for which you can thank spammers.

If you happen to run an authentic, legitimate business, you can't even post your own email address on your web site anymore. If you do, any addresses you publish for use by customers are instead harvested and added to thousands of spammers' lists. They become no longer usable in a very short time. So even though it may mean fewer orders, and the customer has to type more and may lose trust in your business because you can't give them an email address, you have to use contact forms and hide your address. Thanks, spammers.

And what about those contact forms? They are also targets for abuse by spammers. Spammers go to a lot of trouble to find web forms with security holes they can exploit so they can send their spam through your server. You pay for the bandwidth. You get blocked. You maybe even lose your web hosting. But the spammer got a million spams through before it was knocked down, so never mind the cost. It was "free" just like the spamming ads say. Thank the spammers for that too.

How about dialup pools? Many ISPs use them. You might be using BellSouth, Earthlink, NetZero, Tekplex or any one of the others and dialing into the same pool of modems. One spammer might abuse that so much that others have to deny emails from the pool just to protect their systems. But the spammer got his unsolicited and unwanted garbage sent out while it lasted, so he's happy even if everyone else is now having problems in his wake. Thank the spammers for that one as well.

If you email from a server with a dialup connection, much of the world will not accept your email even if neither your server nor any other server in your network block has ever been used for spamming. But it's impossible to know in advance that it won't be, so ISPs almost never allow mail servers on dialups. So no matter how legitimate, you can't operate a mail server without a permanent connection. Thanks, spammers.

AOL announced a few days ago that they finally hit the "one billion emails rejected" mark. In one day they dumped over a billion spams from their servers. And that doesn't include the spams which got through to their customers. AOL estimates that something like $5 per month of each user's fee goes to pay the costs of handling the bandwidth and other associated costs of handling all the spam. Gee thanks, spammers!

And what of freedom? It's becoming less and less acceptable to use anything online without constant monitoring by someone, be it an ISP, a government agency, or merely a librarian. If you want to use a computer online, you have to ID yourself. Your actions have to monitored to an increasing degree. Will the day come when government reads all your email and decides your rights online? Perhaps. When that day comes, thank the spammers for it.

And you wonder why I fight the spammers? I wonder why you don't. Not necessarily you specifically, but the millions of users of the Internet. If only 2% fought them hard, if only 10% of the ISPs blocked ALL traffic to and from spam friendly hosts (not just email, but web pages too, for example), the spammers would have no one willing to connect them. So why isn't that happening? Have people become such sheep that they just accept abuse and the concept that ruination is the natural path? Or are too many people just too lazy to become involved? I'm not sure. Whatever the cause, there will always be spammers and similar thieves looking for a quick buck, and unscrupulous ISPs willing to cater to them while they abuse if they can get away with it. But when email is no longer usable, when people have to go back to long distance telephone bills or carrier pigeon, thank the spammers.

Then again, thank those who were willing to do business with the spammers, buy their products, sell them connectivity, and host their web pages. Also, thank those who looked the other way and continued doing business with the ISPs who harbored the spammers. Is that you? If so, thanks. Thanks a lot. I hope whatever you got from it was worth it.

William R. James
March 8, 2003

Epilogue
Thank the Spammers started as a letter to my daughter after she had discovered her email was bouncing due to an open [mail server] relay on her ISP's network. After some explaining and discussion, I wrote it in attempt to explain the scope of the damage spammers and their supporters have done, and continue to do, to the Internet. She replied partly with the following, posted with her permission:

        When I was working in relay, I relayed a call from some poor little old deaf lady who didn't understand why she couldn't get into her AOL account anymore. The call was to AOL customer service, who (aside from the folks at Social Security) are the LEAST helpful, rudest people on the planet. Apparently somebody had hacked into her email account and sent 500 spam emails on three separate occasions in one day, so AOL shut down the account. She didn't understand what was going on, she kept insisting she hadn't been online in a week and she hadn't sent the emails, and AOL was basically telling her to stuff it.

        So now you've got some little old deaf lady who just wants to IM her grandkids so she doesn't have to talk to them through a relay operator, and she can't do it because some jerk decided sending 1500 unsolicited emails was more important. I'm starting to understand why this ticks you off so much.

In case you aren't familiar with "relay" in the context used, it is a system which is used by the hearing impaired--allowing them to use a telephone. The deaf person uses a terminal with the relay service. The person working the relay translates voice-to-text, and vice-versa, between the deaf caller and the party on the other end.

William R. James
March 11, 2003

How fast can you think and type!???! (1)

maxrate (886773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725415)

This story has been out for a minute and you've written a longer reply than the article!

Re:How fast can you think and type!???! (2, Informative)

metternich (888601) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725439)

Can you say Copy and Paste [linxnet.com] Troll?

Re:How fast can you think and type!???! (1)

Ravensfire (209905) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725470)

You missed the fact that the author and date were posted at the beginning of that, didn't you?

-- Ravensfire

Re:How fast can you think and type!???! (1)

maxrate (886773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725477)

Yeah - I never thought of that!! DUH! - I was being sarcastic (I should have made a point of that earlier I guess!) My bad!

Re:How fast can you think and type!???! (1)

metternich (888601) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725570)

I'm sorry. This is why it's always good to us the [sarcasm][/sarcasm] tags, just to make sure, especially for the mods, they tend to be very dense on these matters. Memo to Original poster: Include a link and optionally a summery, don't post the whole thing.

Re:Thanks the spammers for that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725428)

You can get cocaine for $20? Where?!

Its not just the spammer's fault (3, Insightful)

NextGaurd (844638) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725535)

Part of the blame rests on people who complain about spam but then buy things advertised through spam. Without this reinforcement spammers would be greatly diminished.

Re:Its not just the spammer's fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725584)

Part of the blame rests on people who complain about spam but then buy things advertised through spam. Without this reinforcement spammers would be greatly diminished.

That's the equivalent of suggesting that we only have prisons because people commit crimes.

No shit, sherlock, but no matter how well we reduced crime we'll never get it close enough to zero that we just won't need prisons anymore.

Re:Its not just the spammer's fault (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725596)

You are completely correct. You need to go after the profit motive.

TMM is getting lazy (0, Offtopic)

rk87 (622509) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725379)

WTF, the story's been out 30 seconds and TripMasterMonkey hasn't posted yet?

URLs for actual paper (5, Informative)

mblaze (71452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725380)

A more detailed description of the threat is at smsanalysis.org/ [smsanalysis.org] . The actual paper at smsanalysis.org/smsanalysis.pdf [smsanalysis.org] .

The message is clear: (1)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725383)

The terrorists have won!

SimpleText messages? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725385)

Do macs still ship with that?

Slashdotting a cell phone (2, Funny)

maxrate (886773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725389)

I guess it's kinda like a cell phone getting slashdotted too!

Re:Slashdotting a cell phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725599)

Proof positive there is no god. My cell phone dying a cruel, agonizing, fluid draining, oozing death is my salvation. Slashdot the mutha...

NSA better hire those kids quick (1)

TarrySingh (916400) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725403)

and have the University fire the professors for sparing the rod!

I call shenanigans... (4, Insightful)

The_Rippa (181699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725404)

Don't you think that there are already more than 165 text messages being sent out every second in Manhattan?

Re:I call shenanigans... (1)

Ride Jib (879374) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725503)

I doubt it. People in Manatten are primarily there for work, not general chit-chat.

Re:I call shenanigans... (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725583)

Straw that broke the camels back .

Re:I call shenanigans... (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725593)

With a population that size I'll bet you are right. I too call BS on this test. If they said 165 per second to every cell tower zone I might beleive that. If one cell is zapping out 1000's of messages you know they are going to throttle it or take it down. Problem is if you get a group of people doing the slamming THEN you might clog the system.

Re:I call shenanigans... (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725635)

Possibly, but maybe not all on the same network.

Re:I call shenanigans... (1)

Beatbyte (163694) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725717)

And that is why I do not regret the purchase of ISBN : 0520219783

This is exactly the kind of random bullshit that I'm going to hear someone quote as the god's truth as the easiest way to bring Manhattan's cell phone services to a hault.

Texting phones is free with Google (5, Informative)

popo (107611) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725416)

Most people don't know that you can send text messages for free through Google's text messaging service.

http://toolbar.google.com/send/sms/index.php [google.com]

Now all you need is a perl script and ... hello? ...hello?

-------------

judge a man by his wallet [jfold.com]

Re:Texting phones is free with Google (1)

popo (107611) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725559)


For those who modded me offtopic: Chill. My post was completely "On topic".

The story is about sending 165 text messages per second. There have already been a half-dozen posts pointing out how expensive it would be to send 165 text messages per second. A few others have pointed out that their thumbs can't type that fast.

Google's SMS interface overcomes both those barriers, and is potentially a dangerous tool for disrupting phone service.

God I hate overzealous modders. Chill. Talk about "disrupting traffic"....

Not free to the receiver (1, Offtopic)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725691)

Except that its not free to the one receiving the message. I get charged 10 cents for each receieved message. So if I message my mom, she pays 20 cents.

Re:Texting phones is free with Google (1)

yem (170316) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725708)

I'd be very surprised if that tool didn't have rate limiting built in.

Maybe it is time to bring back CDPD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725420)

Maybe it is time to bring back CDPD (Cellular Digital Packet Data). It transmits data only when the cellular voice channels are silent.

Re:Maybe it is time to bring back CDPD (2, Interesting)

kaladorn (514293) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725664)

Maybe in your neck of the woods. In Canada, the last time I was involved in public safety CDPD-networked software deployment and development, we had segregated channels. So this issue never came up. We segregate voice and data channels up here and that seems to work pretty well. Maybe it has some technical drawbacks in terms of utilization rates, but it kinda removes some potential for abuse.

now I know why text messages cost a fortune... (3, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725437)

Because text messages are transmitted on the same signal that is used to set up voice calls

Ah. So that's why it costs an insane amount of money to send a text message (well, that and a text message may mean "no phone call to bill for".)

Also- can anyone explain why data is still so damn expensive? I have a data capable phone w/bluetooth, I travel a fair bit...but I don't ever use the data service, because it's so incredibly expensive. 2-8MB runs you almost as much as the voice service does!

Seems like they could make a lot of people happy if they made data more affordable. I guess we'll have to wait for one of the providers to start competing on that front, instead of buying each other up? :-)

Re:now I know why text messages cost a fortune... (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725643)

Also- can anyone explain why data is still so damn expensive? I have a data capable phone w/bluetooth, I travel a fair bit...but I don't ever use the data service, because it's so incredibly expensive. 2-8MB runs you almost as much as the voice service does!

Sounds like you're getting screwed. With Verizon, I can use 1xRTT data almost anywhere (~90 kbps average, 144 kbps max) and with my America's Choice plan, it's billed just like a voice call - meaning it's free between 9PM-6AM and on weekends. If you use it all the time, they have an unmetered data plan for like $80 a month.

Re:now I know why text messages cost a fortune... (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725663)

Because they're trying to claw back the money they spent on wireless licenses for 3G data services. They can't do that unless they make a fat margin on data, so it's very expensive. I'm also annoyed by this: transferring about 1.5mb of data has cost me recently about $22

No 12 Days of Christmas (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725444)

Last year I had a friend that wrote an app that would text message a verse from the 12 days of Christmas every day, but something went horribly wrong and I was getting messaged a verse from that damn song every few milliseconds for a couple hours straight. Not fun.

Hey Steve! (you ass)

Re:No 12 Days of Christmas (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725604)

whatever happened to testing code on a safe system... instead of calling send_SMS(verse) put coutverse and see what it is going to send before letting it send an sms

Re:No 12 Days of Christmas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725667)

Last year I had a friend that wrote an app that would text message a verse from the 12 days of Christmas every day, but something went horribly wrong and I was getting messaged a verse from that damn song every few milliseconds for a couple hours straight. Not fun.

What a creative, useful application, if only it hadn't gone terribly wrong.

some alarming quotes from the NYT article (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725454)

In their research, the authors concluded that all major cellular networks were vulnerable, and that a single computer with a cable modem could do the job.
...

One challenge for would-be attackers, according to the paper, is pulling together a list of working cellphones in a specific geographical area. But that, too, is made simpler via the Internet; the authors describe a process using Google and some search tricks that allowed them to collect 7,308 cellular numbers in New York City and 6,184 from Washington "with minimal time and effort."
...

The system works even when cellular calls do not because text messages are small packets of data that are easy to send, and because the companies transmit them on the high-priority channel whose main purpose is to set up cellphone calls.

But therein lies part of the vulnerability, Professor McDaniel said. The control channel cannot handle large amounts of data, he said, so by flooding the channel with messages, it is possible to prevent voice calls from going through.

"This is a traffic-jam problem," he said. "You're sending too many cars down a two-lane road."


the research paper with technical details [smsanalysis.org]

Re:some alarming quotes from the NYT article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725721)

"This is a traffic-jam problem," he said. "You're sending too many cars down a two-lane road."

No, you're blocking the entrance ramps with bicycles.

Nice observation (1, Insightful)

evil agent (918566) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725473)

From the article, Professor McDaniel says

"It seems to me unlikely that a small number of unsophisticated users would be able to mount this attack effectively."

Who cares! Those aren't the people we're worried about. It would just take ONE sophisticated user to mount this attack.

Computer to the Rescue (1)

OctoberSky (888619) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725489)

Well like all above me said it would be damn expensive to text 165 times a second. Even for a few seconds. Enter Verizons VText [vtext.com] .

With this simple website you could send out countless text messages to the same phone. BEst of all its free to send, not to recieve.

If we all did it (no, we should not all do this) it would , if I understand the article correctly, crash the system that phone is on.

But I am sure the Slashdot crowd could get more than 165 per second out

Teleflip.com allows emailing text msgs. (1)

Errandboy of Doom (917941) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725565)

Teleflip.com also allows you to send text messages. It's free, no registration, it's all via email.

If the cell phone number you want to reach is 999-555-4444, you just send an email to 9995554444@teleflip.com, it's automatically forwarded through the phone network.

So this is looking easier by the post.

I don't buy it. (2, Informative)

Johnno74 (252399) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725527)

There must be at least a million cellphones in Manhattan. I'd say its safe to say that each cellphone would send an average of one text message a day.

So there are already somewhere in the rough ballpark of 1 million text messsages being sent a day. Possibly many more, probably no less.
that equates to 41,000 per hour, or 72 per second, on average.

Now of course the texts aren't spread evenly over those 24 hours. The majority of those messages will be sent during 12 hours of the day, which would mean during those 12 hours the average texts/second would be pretty close to the number of texts they say would overload the network.

Re:I don't buy it. (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725619)

perhapse the current system is not capable of handling double it's current load

Re:I don't buy it. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725630)

41,000 per hour is 12 per second, not 72. So there's plenty of capacity.

Re:I don't buy it. (1)

Stalyn (662) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725703)

You forget that it is adding the said 165 messages a second to the network and not simply the traffic upper limit is 165 messages a second. Assume the upper limit is 165msgs/sec and by sending 165msgs/sec you are approaching the upper limit and most likely going over with the addition of normal traffic. This would create the slowdown mentioned. The goal of adding 165msgs/sec doesn't seem all that hard especially with the speed of modern computers. I think the article mentioned that one person with a cable modem could do it.

SMS is quite popular in Europe, how come not DoS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725533)

SMS is quite popular in Europe. Many people in some European countries use SMS more than they would a voice call. With some many people using SMS, how come we don't see a lot of denial of service from a lot of use of SMS?

Re:SMS is quite popular in Europe, how come not Do (3, Insightful)

Khyber (864651) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725693)

The reason is in the EU areas, bandwidth isn't so TIGHTLY restricted. That's why they've got internet connections better than what most of the USA has. Most people I know of in the EU areas pay roughly equivalent to what we do for a 10 mbit down / 2 mbit up connection, if not higher. (These are people on IRC, I wouldn't know about those I know thru IM services)

We've got, what?? Comcast with 7 mbit (shared) down and 1.5 mbit (dedicated) up, as the "potentially best" service? (Roadrunner offers 10 mbit down, but only 512 kbit up, Speakeasy is 6 mbit down dedicated, 768 kbit up dedicated?)

These people have a much larger pipeline to use. *NOW* the big difference is the pipeline leaving their country to go to other countries. Any bets on where most of that data gets sent? You betcha, USA.

Wrong terminology, yet again... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725549)

A spammer is not a hacker. Mail bombers have existed for ages but nobody does it anymore because it's pretty traceable (even through open relays)

And so it started (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13725646)

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

The United States, nineteen individual states, and the District of Columbia ("the plaintiffs") bring these consolidated civil enforcement actions against defendant Microsoft Corporation ("Microsoft") under the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. 1 and 2. The plaintiffs charge, in essence, that Microsoft has waged an unlawful campaign in defense of its monopoly position in the market for operating systems designed to run on Intel-compatible personal computers ("PCs"). Specifically, the plaintiffs contend that Microsoft violated 2 of the Sherman Act by engaging in a series of exclusionary, anticompetitive, and predatory acts to maintain its monopoly power. They also assert that Microsoft attempted, albeit unsuccessfully to date, to monopolize the Web browser market, likewise in violation of 2. Finally, they contend that certain steps taken by Microsoft as part of its campaign to protect its monopoly power, namely tying its browser to its operating system and entering into exclusive dealing arrangements, violated 1 of the Act.

Upon consideration of the Court's Findings of Fact ("Findings"), filed herein on November 5, 1999, as amended on December 21, 1999, the proposed conclusions of law submitted by the parties, the briefs of amici curiae, and the argument of counsel thereon, the Court concludes that Microsoft maintained its monopoly power by anticompetitive means and attempted to monopolize the Web browser market, both in violation of 2. Microsoft also violated 1 of the Sherman Act by unlawfully tying its Web browser to its operating system. The facts found do not support the conclusion, however, that the effect of Microsoft's marketing arrangements with other companies constituted unlawful exclusive dealing under criteria established by leading decisions under 1.

The nineteen states and the District of Columbia ("the plaintiff states") seek to ground liability additionally under their respective antitrust laws. The Court is persuaded that the evidence in the record proving violations of the Sherman Act also satisfies the elements of analogous causes of action arising under the laws of each plaintiff state. For this reason, and for others stated below, the Court holds Microsoft liable under those particular state laws as well.

I. SECTION TWO OF THE SHERMAN ACT

A. Maintenance of Monopoly Power by Anticompetitive Means

Section 2 of the Sherman Act declares that it is unlawful for a person or firm to "monopolize . . . any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations . . . ." 15 U.S.C. 2. This language operates to limit the means by which a firm may lawfully either acquire or perpetuate monopoly power. Specifically, a firm violates 2 if it attains or preserves monopoly power through anticompetitive acts. See United States v. Grinnell Corp., 384 U.S. 563, 570-71 (1966) ("The offense of monopoly power under 2 of the Sherman Act has two elements: (1) the possession of monopoly power in the relevant market and (2) the willful acquisition or maintenance of that power as distinguished from growth or development as a consequence of a superior product, business acumen, or historic accident."); Eastman Kodak Co. v. Image Technical Services, Inc., 504 U.S. 451, 488 (1992) (Scalia, J., dissenting) ("Our 2 monopolization doctrines are . . . directed to discrete situations in which a defendant's possession of substantial market power, combined with his exclusionary or anticompetitive behavior, threatens to defeat or forestall the corrective forces of competition and thereby sustain or extend the defendant's agglomeration of power.").

1. Monopoly Power

The threshold element of a 2 monopolization offense being "the possession of monopoly power in the relevant market," Grinnell, 384 U.S. at 570, the Court must first ascertain the boundaries of the commercial activity that can be termed the "relevant market." See Walker Process Equip., Inc. v. Food Mach. & Chem. Corp., 382 U.S. 172, 177 (1965) ("Without a definition of [the relevant] market there is no way to measure [defendant's] ability to lessen or destroy competition."). Next, the Court must assess the defendant's actual power to control prices in - or to exclude competition from - that market. See United States v. E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 351 U.S. 377, 391 (1956) ("Monopoly power is the power to control prices or exclude competition.").

In this case, the plaintiffs postulated the relevant market as being the worldwide licensing of Intel-compatible PC operating systems. Whether this zone of commercial activity actually qualifies as a market, "monopolization of which may be illegal," depends on whether it includes all products "reasonably interchangeable by consumers for the same purposes." du Pont, 351 U.S. at 395. See Rothery Storage & Van Co. v. Atlas Van Lines, Inc., 792 F.2d 210, 218 (D.C. Cir. 1986) ("Because the ability of consumers to turn to other suppliers restrains a firm from raising prices above the competitive level, the definition of the 'relevant market' rests on a determination of available substitutes.").

The Court has already found, based on the evidence in this record, that there are currently no products - and that there are not likely to be any in the near future - that a significant percentage of computer users worldwide could substitute for Intel-compatible PC operating systems without incurring substantial costs. Findings 18-29. The Court has further found that no firm not currently marketing Intel-compatible PC operating systems could start doing so in a way that would, within a reasonably short period of time, present a significant percentage of such consumers with a viable alternative to existing Intel-compatible PC operating systems. Id. 18, 30-32. From these facts, the Court has inferred that if a single firm or cartel controlled the licensing of all Intel-compatible PC operating systems worldwide, it could set the price of a license substantially above that which would be charged in a competitive market - and leave the price there for a significant period of time - without losing so many customers as to make the action unprofitable. Id. 18. This inference, in turn, has led the Court to find that the licensing of all Intel-compatible PC operating systems worldwide does in fact constitute the relevant market in the context of the plaintiffs' monopoly maintenance claim. Id.

The plaintiffs proved at trial that Microsoft possesses a dominant, persistent, and increasing share of the relevant market. Microsoft's share of the worldwide market for Intel-compatible PC operating systems currently exceeds ninety-five percent, and the firm's share would stand well above eighty percent even if the Mac OS were included in the market. Id. 35. The plaintiffs also proved that the applications barrier to entry protects Microsoft's dominant market share. Id. 36-52. This barrier ensures that no Intel-compatible PC operating system other than Windows can attract significant consumer demand, and the barrier would operate to the same effect even if Microsoft held its prices substantially above the competitive level for a protracted period of time. Id. Together, the proof of dominant market share and the existence of a substantial barrier to effective entry create the presumption that Microsoft enjoys monopoly power. See United States v. AT&T Co., 524 F. Supp. 1336, 1347-48 (D.D.C. 1981) ("a persuasive showing . . . that defendants have monopoly power . . . through various barriers to entry, . . . in combination with the evidence of market shares, suffice[s] at least to meet the government's initial burden, and the burden is then appropriately placed upon defendants to rebut the existence and significance of barriers to entry"), quoted with approval in Southern Pac. Communications Co. v. AT&T Co., 740 F.2d 980, 1001-02 (D.C. Cir. 1984).

At trial, Microsoft attempted to rebut the presumption of monopoly power with evidence of both putative constraints on its ability to exercise such power and behavior of its own that is supposedly inconsistent with the possession of monopoly power. None of the purported constraints, however, actually deprive Microsoft of "the ability (1) to price substantially above the competitive level and (2) to persist in doing so for a significant period without erosion by new entry or expansion." IIA Phillip E. Areeda, Herbert Hovenkamp & John L. Solow, Antitrust Law 501, at 86 (1995) (emphasis in original); see Findings 57-60. Furthermore, neither Microsoft's efforts at technical innovation nor its pricing behavior is inconsistent with the possession of monopoly power. Id. 61-66.

Even if Microsoft's rebuttal had attenuated the presumption created by the prima facie showing of monopoly power, corroborative evidence of monopoly power abounds in this record: Neither Microsoft nor its OEM customers believe that the latter have - or will have anytime soon - even a single, commercially viable alternative to licensing Windows for pre-installation on their PCs. Id. 53-55; cf. Rothery, 792 F.2d at 219 n.4 ("we assume that economic actors usually have accurate perceptions of economic realities"). Moreover, over the past several years, Microsoft has comported itself in a way that could only be consistent with rational behavior for a profit-maximizing firm if the firm knew that it possessed monopoly power, and if it was motivated by a desire to preserve the barrier to entry protecting that power. Findings 67, 99, 136, 141, 215-16, 241, 261-62, 286, 291, 330, 355, 393, 407.

In short, the proof of Microsoft's dominant, persistent market share protected by a substantial barrier to entry, together with Microsoft's failure to rebut that prima facie showing effectively and the additional indicia of monopoly power, have compelled the Court to find as fact that Microsoft enjoys monopoly power in the relevant market. Id. 33.

2. Maintenance of Monopoly Power by Anticompetitive Means

In a 2 case, once it is proved that the defendant possesses monopoly power in a relevant market, liability for monopolization depends on a showing that the defendant used anticompetitive methods to achieve or maintain its position. See United States v. Grinnell, 384 U.S. 563, 570-71 (1966); Eastman Kodak Co. v. Image Technical Services, Inc., 504 U.S. 451, 488 (1992) (Scalia, J., dissenting); Intergraph Corp. v. Intel Corp., 195 F.3d 1346, 1353 (Fed. Cir. 1999). Prior cases have established an analytical approach to determining whether challenged conduct should be deemed anticompetitive in the context of a monopoly maintenance claim. The threshold question in this analysis is whether the defendant's conduct is "exclusionary" - that is, whether it has restricted significantly, or threatens to restrict significantly, the ability of other firms to compete in the relevant market on the merits of what they offer customers. See Eastman Kodak, 504 U.S. at 488 (Scalia, J., dissenting) ( 2 is "directed to discrete situations" in which the behavior of firms with monopoly power "threatens to defeat or forestall the corrective forces of competition").(1)

If the evidence reveals a significant exclusionary impact in the relevant market, the defendant's conduct will be labeled "anticompetitive" - and liability will attach - unless the defendant comes forward with specific, procompetitive business motivations that explain the full extent of its exclusionary conduct. See Eastman Kodak, 504 U.S. at 483 (declining to grant defendant's motion for summary judgment because factual questions remained as to whether defendant's asserted justifications were sufficient to explain the exclusionary conduct or were instead merely pretextual); see also Aspen Skiing Co. v. Aspen Highlands Skiing Corp., 472 U.S. 585, 605 n.32 (1985) (holding that the second element of a monopoly maintenance claim is satisfied by proof of "'behavior that not only (1) tends to impair the opportunities of rivals, but also (2) either does not further competition on the merits or does so in an unnecessarily restrictive way'") (quoting III Phillip E. Areeda & Donald F. Turner, Antitrust Law 626b, at 78 (1978)).

If the defendant with monopoly power consciously antagonized its customers by making its products less attractive to them - or if it incurred other costs, such as large outlays of development capital and forfeited opportunities to derive revenue from it - with no prospect of compensation other than the erection or preservation of barriers against competition by equally efficient firms, the Court may deem the defendant's conduct "predatory." As the D.C. Circuit stated in Neumann v. Reinforced Earth Co.,

[P]redation involves aggression against business rivals through the use of business practices that would not be considered profit maximizing except for the expectation that (1) actual rivals will be driven from the market, or the entry of potential rivals blocked or delayed, so that the predator will gain or retain a market share sufficient to command monopoly profits, or (2) rivals will be chastened sufficiently to abandon competitive behavior the predator finds threatening to its realization of monopoly profits.

786 F.2d 424, 427 (D.C. Cir. 1986).

Proof that a profit-maximizing firm took predatory action should suffice to demonstrate the threat of substantial exclusionary effect; to hold otherwise would be to ascribe irrational behavior to the defendant. Moreover, predatory conduct, by definition as well as by nature, lacks procompetitive business motivation. See Aspen Skiing, 472 U.S. at 610-11 (evidence indicating that defendant's conduct was "motivated entirely by a decision to avoid providing any benefits" to a rival supported the inference that defendant's conduct "was not motivated by efficiency concerns"). In other words, predatory behavior is patently anticompetitive. Proof that a firm with monopoly power engaged in such behavior thus necessitates a finding of liability under 2.

In this case, Microsoft early on recognized middleware as the Trojan horse that, once having, in effect, infiltrated the applications barrier, could enable rival operating systems to enter the market for Intel-compatible PC operating systems unimpeded. Simply put, middleware threatened to demolish Microsoft's coveted monopoly power. Alerted to the threat, Microsoft strove over a period of approximately four years to prevent middleware technologies from fostering the development of enough full-featured, cross-platform applications to erode the applications barrier. In pursuit of this goal, Microsoft sought to convince developers to concentrate on Windows-specific APIs and ignore interfaces exposed by the two incarnations of middleware that posed the greatest threat, namely, Netscape's Navigator Web browser and Sun's implementation of the Java technology. Microsoft's campaign succeeded in preventing - for several years, and perhaps permanently - Navigator and Java from fulfilling their potential to open the market for Intel-compatible PC operating systems to competition on the merits. Findings 133, 378. Because Microsoft achieved this result through exclusionary acts that lacked procompetitive justification, the Court deems Microsoft's conduct the maintenance of monopoly power by anticompetitive means.

a. Combating the Browser Threat

The same ambition that inspired Microsoft's efforts to induce Intel, Apple, RealNetworks and IBM to desist from certain technological innovations and business initiatives - namely, the desire to preserve the applications barrier - motivated the firm's June 1995 proposal that Netscape abstain from releasing platform-level browsing software for 32-bit versions of Windows. See id. 79-80, 93-132. This proposal, together with the punitive measures that Microsoft inflicted on Netscape when it rebuffed the overture, illuminates the context in which Microsoft's subsequent behavior toward PC manufacturers ("OEMs"), Internet access providers ("IAPs"), and other firms must be viewed.

When Netscape refused to abandon its efforts to develop Navigator into a substantial platform for applications development, Microsoft focused its efforts on minimizing the extent to which developers would avail themselves of interfaces exposed by that nascent platform. Microsoft realized that the extent of developers' reliance on Netscape's browser platform would depend largely on the size and trajectory of Navigator's share of browser usage. Microsoft thus set out to maximize Internet Explorer's share of browser usage at Navigator's expense. Id. 133, 359-61. The core of this strategy was ensuring that the firms comprising the most effective channels for the generation of browser usage would devote their distributional and promotional efforts to Internet Explorer rather than Navigator. Recognizing that pre-installation by OEMs and bundling with the proprietary software of IAPs led more directly and efficiently to browser usage than any other practices in the industry, Microsoft devoted major efforts to usurping those two channels. Id. 143.

Per City, or per Cell? (3, Insightful)

throx (42621) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725659)

I don't buy it for one very big reason - the cells are functionally independant and Manhattan has a *lot* of cells. That means you could shut down a single cell with text messages if you targetted a single phone but a simple throttle on the number of messages to a single phone number would prevent that.

Now if you could figure out how to send messages to a bunch of different phones all in the same cell then you may be able to take that one cell out of business for a while, but DoS all of Manhattan? I think not.

Grand Central Station (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13725690)

Manhattan usually has 5+ million people in it all day long. 165 msgs:sec is only 10K msgs:minute. I'm surprised Manhattan doesn't already get that kind of traffic. Especially after a big event, like a World Series win, or a stock market crash. I'd say "terrorist attack", but the last one destroyed the 7 World Trade building, which took out Verizon a lot more definitively than a DoS attack. But that hardly seems necessary to generate texts from 0.5% of Manhattan within a minute.
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  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>