North American Network Operators Group

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DoS attacks, NSPs unresponsiveness

  • From: Ariel Biener
  • Date: Wed Nov 01 23:13:10 2000


   This e-mail comes to describe a common problem among a large number of
ISPs, mostly foreign, when dealing with US network service providers. I
don't want to talk about anyone I don't know of, so I will limit this
initial e-mail to talking about UUnet.

   As most of you know, some ISPs run irc servers, and provide an IRC
service to the community. The service is free, and maintenance and cost of
networking/hardware/human hours is on the ISPs expense.

   Irc tends to be a volatile medium, like interpersonal relationships in
real life. Thus, many times arguements turn into heated disputes, and
sometimes, some people pick up arms, and attack. The attacks usually take
out whole ISPs for hours, or days.

   The problem is that when trying to get help from the upstream provider
(UUnet in this example), you either receive a negative answer, or you're
just ignored completely. Thus, by terrorism, people get what they want,
and hold you at a threat of force, without any ability to defend yourself.

   Smurfing, icmp attacks, udp attacks, tcp synflooding (spoofed
sources) are just a number of these weapons. The problem with alot of
networking entities, be it ISPs, enterprises, and such, is that they allow
spoofed packets to leave their network (i.e. do not check if the packets
originate from within their netblocks before letting them leave their

   The question is, how can we defend ourselves, and why do the large NSPs
turn a blind eye, and act as if it's not their concern ?

   Is there a chance that by helping one another, and by implementing
Internet RFCs corrctly (rfc 1918 for example), we can contribute to the
elimination of this kind of electronic terrorism ?

   Any chance a UUnet person might answer ?

best regards,


Ariel Biener
e-mail: [email protected]           Work phone: 03-6406086
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