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Put on your tinfoil hats for this one. We recently saw that a country's government can easily and quickly shut down the internet. In a classic rope-a-dope, as Hillary Clinton babbles propaganda about internet freedom, the US government shuts down internet access to Wikileaks, shuts down websites without court orders, and pushes forward on creating law for an internet "kill switch." Make no mistake about it - the US government is looking for ways to shut down the internet purportedly in response to a "national cyberemergency." Now all they need is such a cyberemergency.

There are those who claim 9/11 was an inside job, with the US government playing a major role (if not the key role) in the 9/11 attacks in order to pass the PATRIOT Act. And there is enormous, highly credible evidence suggesting this is so. It's common knowledge that the 9/11 Commission Report is a fraud. Could a false flag operation be in the works to push the internet kill switch bill through? The Department of Homeland Security has purportedly been upgrading the security to the internet backbone. Hmmm... is that really what they've been doing? Kind of like the "security upgrades" the NSA did at AT&T? How would the internet exchanges respond to an attack like this? Could the US government order the internet exchanges to refrain from manually overriding settings when autonomous operations fail (perhaps similar to Dick Cheney's likely stand-down order during 9/11)? Do we need the caped-crusaders at Anonymous to come to the rescue?


A new cyberweapon could take down the entire internet - and there's not much that current defences can do to stop it. So say Max Schuchard at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and his colleagues, the masterminds who have created the digital ordnance. But thankfully they have no intention of destroying the net just yet. Instead, they are suggesting improvements to its defences.

Schuchard's new attack pits the structure of the internet against itself. Hundreds of connection points in the net fall offline every minute, but we don't notice because the net routes around them. It can do this because the smaller networks that make up the internet, known as autonomous systems, communicate with each other through routers. When a communication path changes, nearby routers inform their neighbours through a system known as the border gateway protocol (BGP). These routers inform other neighbours in turn, eventually spreading knowledge of the new path throughout the internet.

A previously discovered method of attack, dubbed ZMW - after its three creators Zhang, Mao and Wang, researchers in the US who came up with their version four years ago - disrupts the connection between two routers by interfering with BGP to make it appear that the link is offline. Schuchard and colleagues worked out how to spread this disruption to the entire internet and simulated its effects...

The attack requires a large botnet - a network of computers infected with software that allows them to be externally controlled: Schuchard reckons 250,000 such machines would be enough to take down the internet. Botnets are often used to perform distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, which bring web servers down by overloading them with traffic, but this new line of attack is different.

"Normal DDoS is a hammer; this is more of a scalpel," says Schuchard. "If you cut in the wrong places then the attack won't work."

An attacker deploying the Schuchard cyberweapon would send traffic between computers in their botnet to build a map of the paths between them. Then they would identify a link common to many different paths and launch a ZMW attack to bring it down. Neighbouring routers would respond by sending out BGP updates to reroute traffic elsewhere. A short time later, the two sundered routers would reconnect and send out their own BGP updates, upon which attack traffic would start flowing in again, causing them to disconnect once more. This cycle would repeat, with the single breaking and reforming link sending out waves of BGP updates to every router on the internet. Eventually each router in the world would be receiving more updates than it could handle - after 20 minutes of attacking, a queue requiring 100 minutes of processing would have built up.

The cyberweapon that could take down the internet


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Feb 18, 2011 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=473

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