Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet

Over the past year or two, someone has been probing the defenses of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet. These probes take the form of precisely calibrated attacks designed to determine exactly how well these companies can defend themselves, and what would be required to take them down. We don't know who is doing this, but it feels like a large nation state. China or Russia would be my first guesses.

First, a little background. If you want to take a network off the Internet, the easiest way to do it is with a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS). Like the name says, this is an attack designed to prevent legitimate users from getting to the site. There are subtleties, but basically it means blasting so much data at the site that it's overwhelmed. These attacks are not new: hackers do this to sites they don't like, and criminals have done it as a method of extortion. There is an entire industry, with an arsenal of technologies, devoted to DDoS defense. But largely it's a matter of bandwidth. If the attacker has a bigger fire hose of data than the defender has, the attacker wins.

Recently, some of the major companies that provide the basic infrastructure that makes the Internet work have seen an increase in DDoS attacks against them. Moreover, they have seen a certain profile of attacks. These attacks are significantly larger than the ones they're used to seeing. They last longer. They're more sophisticated. And they look like probing. One week, the attack would start at a particular level of attack and slowly ramp up before stopping. The next week, it would start at that higher point and continue. And so on, along those lines, as if the attacker were looking for the exact point of failure.

mo (external - login to view)
who isn't probing ???

I'm surprised you didn't consider it might be yankee or Israeli hackers
like it has been so many times before
you know: fukushima stuxnet and Sh!t
#3  Top Rated Post
This will certainly impact climate change.
Over the past year or two?

Well knock me over with a feather with that breaking news.

Welcome to the internet Mr Schneir
Quote: Originally Posted by tayView Post

Well knock me over with a feather

Quote: Originally Posted by tayView Post

Over the past year or two?

Well knock me over with a feather with that breaking news.

Welcome to the internet Mr Schneir

yeah mr knowledge...we're not talking script-kiddies or anonymous fukking with two bit sites. but thanks for your little input. the verisign doc shows a yuuge increase in numbers and attack size.
Time to call up the Israeli's and see if they can borrow some of their counter-hackers. They have some of THE best in the world. They've counter-hacked Anonymous and they've counter-hacked the Chinese on at least one occasion.
Okay, let's relax and get a grip on the facts. A little perspective never hurts, right?

We were all warned about Internets care, when it first came out. Some of the younger readers won't know this because they weren't around at the beginning. At any rate, this is a very short history of the Internets, it's early daze and the maintenance warnings, which after 42 years, have not changed.

To begin, the Internets was invented in Sudbury, Ontario in 1972. That's 44 years ago for those whose math skills are lacking. Rene Deschambres, its creator, was an unemployed copper miner who said the Internets was a mistake. Rene was searching for a way to turn off his alarm clock without having to roll over in bed. He wasn't trained in electronics, but loved to tinker in his garage.

In 1971, he had a box of baby monitors that he fished out of a dumpster behind Woolco (remember them?). The radios, made by different manufacturers, were broken but otherwise in good shape. Because he was unemployed, Rene had plenty of time to dumpster dive, and came up with these treasures.

Because he was uneducated and not constrained by the rules of electronics and solid state theory, Rene created what he thought was a remote control "alarm clock turner offer". He used it with great effect for several months, until one morning in early 1972, when his box answered him back. Another man, Al Bell of Garson, Ontario, also unemployed, and an inveterate tinkerer himself, spoke to Rene on his 'voice activated coffeemaker'.

This communication is considered by historians to be the first 'online chat'.

Both would go on to lead rather uneventful lives in northern Ontario. Deschambres never worked again, but made money as a private contractor and designer for various aerospace companies in the US and Canada.

Deschambres marketed the Internets from his garage, selling the original kit for $19.99. All the kits were mailed by Canada Post. In part, the instructions reminded users to wash the Internets with mild soap and water occasionally and never leave them in direct sunlight. Do not lick.

Some other forgotten Internets facts:

1. The original Internets operated using 4 D cell batteries.
2. The military scoffed at Rene's invention.They called it 'a stupid, unimaginative idea and probably a scam'. From the original rejection letter issued by the DND. "...the government is not in the habit of spending wastefully. Your creation appears to be fraudulent...."
3. Sky blue was the original Internets colour.
4. Bill Gates bought one mail order.
5. In 1975, Nigeria was Rene's largest customer.
6. In Quebec, Rene's invention was marketed as a "spirit box" (Boite à Fantôme). People could talk to dead relatives using it.

Rene is also the inventor of Ali AckBarrr! The self beheading, Muzzie doll.
Square Aggies (marbles) - Never Lose Your Marbles Again! - Remember them from Xmas 1975? They were created and marketed for Ontario mental hospitals.
Last edited by Murphy; Sep 16th, 2016 at 11:11 AM..
Hot damn.....and all that time since '72, I thought that the people I heard on my radio alarm clock that morning was some kind of "skip" feed back from my CB radio in the basement.......go figure......
I posted this last spring, but it was originally written in 2007.Governments will have contingency plans. As for the rest of us, well, we'd be out of luck. Television and radio are highly dependent on the Interwebs. They'd be gone or reduced to a more primitive form. AM would make a big comeback though! But Wolfman is dead.

Back to reading, you know, books. Yuck!

It’s time now for Back Porch Commentary, brought to you by your local Country Lard Store, where 'Fat is fine, anytime!'

Country Lard! Country Lard!
It's always soft and squishy!
It's never cold and hard!
Yee haw!

Imagine Not Having the Internets!
Copyright 2007 - Murphy

Imagine that you wake up one morning and the Internet doesn't work. It's not temporarily down. It's gone.

No one is surfing. No more web boards, email or chat forums. No online gaming. No one is swapping information on the World Wide Web. Online banking is gone, along with online shopping and easy homework assignments. Google is toast. Ebay is just another bad memory (I kind of like that). Bye bye blogging. No one is checking out the latest porn, movie reviews or kinky-cam sites. Downloading the latest cheats or fixes for games, satellite television or computer programs are a non-event.

Those of us that managed to survive before computers, satellites or uplinked anythings might be temporarily inconvenienced. Anyone under forty-five would be at their wit's end.

The world has become very dependent on broadband, firewalls and the World Wide Web. Economies would likely nose dive. Wars would revert to a more primitive form. Governments would declare national emergencies. New age Luddites the world over would be celebrating - sitting in front of huge bonfires, beating drums made from animal skins.

Okay, it would be foolish to wish for an Internet meltdown. And I certainly don't pretend to know how badly life would suffer, but stories like this aren't real or practical, right? After all, you may be reading this on a computer screen, connected to the Web. Since this is my fantasy, indulge me for a few minutes. Just remember, despite what might be said from here on, you don't have all this,, whatever it is.

I'll cut you one small break - computers still exist. But instead of being the fun and useful tools of today, they are what they were forty plus years ago - expensive, complex and physically huge machines, and not connected to the outside world. What's that you say? No fair? Hard cheese! The computers in my fantasy are not found in anyone's home. They are found only in universities and government offices, where they started.

So, you wake up in the morning and turn off the alarm clock. You shower, get dressed and have some breakfast. No need to check your email - there's no such thing. Your favourite web board doesn't exist, nor do any chat rooms or blogs. There's no such thing as a cell phone or a Blackberry. You will actually have to interact with people today!

You cannot quickly scan any online news services, weather sites or broadband radio stations for information to help with your day. Whether you're off to school or heading to work, the only news you'll get is from the car radio or the newspaper that some kid delivered to your door at O dark thirty, très early this morning. Oh yeah, you didn't wake up early enough to read any of it...

You arrive at your destination. Once inside, there's no need to turn on any electronic devices. You may have an electric typewriter and a desk phone, but that's it for high tech. Anything they expect you to write will actually have to be written, you know, in ink. If you're lucky though, you will have a secretary to take dictation. All your ramblings will be reproduced on 17 lb. typewriter paper and returned to you for final inspection and signature.

If you don't have a typewriter, essays and reports will have to be written in long hand, on lined paper, using ink. Mistakes in spelling or phraseology will be bracketed and a line drawn through them. It might look sloppy, but that's how it's done. When you prepare documents with a pen, no one has time to re-write entire pages a second time, in case of mistakes! Just watch out that you don't smear any ink!

After work, you have a bunch of errands to run. One of them is to go to the bank and cash your pay cheque. That's a small piece of paper someone hands out at the end of the week. There are no auto-deposits. You have to go downtown or to the mall and queue up with the rest of the people that got paid too. When you finally wade through the line and get to the teller, she'll pull out a paper card with your name and account particulars on it. Her job is to make any notations about your deposits or withdrawals. She does this in pen, slowly, and then stuffs it back into the file. Geez, I hope the bank doesn't catch fire!

You leave the bank and hop into your car. Oh look, you need gas! You pull into the Esso station and some slow kid comes out to fill it up. That will be forty dollars please. You were just at the bank but did not withdraw enough money, so you have to use a credit card. He takes your plastic, walks back into the building and fills out the slip. He returns after a few minutes with a small clipboard that has the slip, a pen and your card on top. You sign it, get a copy and go on your way. Hmmm, that can take a while when the place is busy!

You need groceries. You dash into the store and load up the cart. Once again, you stand in line at the check out. You don't have enough cash in your wallet and have to write a cheque. These places do not take credit cards. If you, and the people ahead of you in line are smart, everyone will fill in the cheque and wait for the final amount. Well, that's a great idea in theory, but in practice it never seems to work out. The older person talking to the cashier is dutifully writing in her cheque book, but is having difficulties. It seems she forgot her glasses and doesn't know whose name goes on the front...

After all that, you arrive home, carry the food inside and flop down on the couch. You read your (snail) mail, start supper and maybe watch some television. If there's nothing good on the box, you could play some cards (solitaire maybe?) or phone a friend and try to convince him to come over and play a board game with you. Maybe you could read a book. Nah, you'd have to go down to the library and sign one out. That's too much work.

Like thousands of others, you just read the morning paper for a while and fall sleep in your chair...

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