How to Crash the Internet

CommanderFrank

Cat Can't Scratch It
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In a disturbing report, a computer science grad student and several of his friends claims to have found a method to bring down the entire Internet infrastructure utilizing common techniques and internet tools. The tools are simple and the mechanics are also simple. All you need to know is where to hit the right places at the right time. Scary stuff here.

BGP is an essential Internet protocol. It’s the routing protocol used to exchange routing information across the Internet. Without it ISPs couldn’t connect to each other and you couldn’t connect Web sites and services outside of your local intranet
 

klokwyze

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If they accomplished this, what would they do for the rest of the day??!!?!?
 

Sniviler

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this is like telling a crack head where to buy crack and then he shoots the dealer.

why do people publish info like this ????
 

Chilly

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According to the article, it wouldn't take long to recover and stop such an attack, but it would knock out the networks it was targeting for a good few hours to maybe a few days even for certain users.

Think back to the massive north eastern black out a few years back. Some areas were back with in minutes, most with in hours, few took a couple days be service was eventually restored.
 

EvilWays

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.... and their porn supply would be severed too. :p

darth_vader_nooo_7675.jpeg
 

Mickey21

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I am not really sure this is really saying anything. If you know where to strike, then you can disrupt service. Heck there are so many versions of this plan, it isnt funny. Destroy a power plant here or there, destroy a certain main shipping port with fuel stocks, down a plane here or there, I mean really. At any given moment, there are so many ways that things can get disrupted, that it doesnt pay to think about it much. There are also things these same people do to prevent it from happening, not all of which are disclosed publicly, so yeah okay. We live in a world of endless possible destruction, from stubbing your toe to planetary destruction by aliens. Moving on.
 

viqas

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Pakistan messed up the BGP routes one time when they were trying to block facebook and youtube. I think it dragged either europe's or north america's traffic towards pakistan.


Yes BGP routes are dangerous when
 

Pinski

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I don't see how this works, most routers have control-plane policing that would prevent this from ever happening.

Also, they only accept BGP connections from other routers that have been pre-configured. Unless you have some magic BGP connection this doesn't seem like it'd work, at all.
 

tubular

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this is like telling a crack head where to buy crack and then he shoots the dealer.

why do people publish info like this ????

Most of the time its because if they try talking to the companies responsible for this stuff the companies will just brush them off and do nothing at all........
 

xjmtx

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I heard Jen Barber say she has it on good authority from the IT dept. that if you type Google into Google, you will crash the internet. She says that this may be tempting to do, but you shouldn't. And that it is not a laughing matter. It is serious business.
 

xjmtx

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I heard Jen Barber say she has it on good authority from the IT dept. that if you type Google into Google, you will crash the internet. She says that this may be tempting to do, but you shouldn't. And that it is not a laughing matter. It is serious business.
 

jstnomega

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I am not really sure this is really saying anything. If you know where to strike, then you can disrupt service. Heck there are so many versions of this plan, it isnt funny. Destroy a power plant here or there, destroy a certain main shipping port with fuel stocks, down a plane here or there, I mean really. At any given moment, there are so many ways that things can get disrupted, that it doesnt pay to think about it much. There are also things these same people do to prevent it from happening, not all of which are disclosed publicly, so yeah okay. We live in a world of endless possible destruction, from stubbing your toe to planetary destruction by aliens. Moving on.

except to give pause to those in control & to hopefully get some hardening &/or redundancy in place before the SHTF
 

Phoenix333

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There's one glaring flaw with this attack strategy. As you take down routers it becomes exponentially harder to target remaining routers. Without a way to route traffic you cannot route your attacks either. Service could be degraded to a point, but an attempt at blacking out the entire internet in this way would be extremely unlikely to succeed.
 

pendragon1

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"That's when phase two kicks in. I attack the structure Wolvie Berzerk style, and knock out the fuckin' pin and bickety bam, the motherfucker is rubble. Hence, no game show." Jay - Mallrats
 

MRAB54

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There's one glaring flaw with this attack strategy. As you take down routers it becomes exponentially harder to target remaining routers. Without a way to route traffic you cannot route your attacks either. Service could be degraded to a point, but an attempt at blacking out the entire internet in this way would be extremely unlikely to succeed.

That depends on how spread out each of the botnet nodes are. It's probably possible.
 

Dew

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That depends on how spread out each of the botnet nodes are. It's probably possible.

I think their numbers estimates required are woefully understated. You would probably need 250k hosts PER major routing point to keep the load up once routes start to fail. Cripple a country, easy. Cripple the world, that would be hard. That said, you could probably do all the major damage you need just by attacking Hawaii and New York.
 

The Slayer

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So, what would do they do once they bring the internet down? Watch 24 hour marathons of america's funniest home videos?
 

kubla_khan

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I heard Jen Barber say she has it on good authority from the IT dept. that if you type Google into Google, you will crash the internet. She says that this may be tempting to do, but you shouldn't. And that it is not a laughing matter. It is serious business.
Googling google = dividing by zero.
Divide_by_zer0.jpg
 

Mr34727

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I am surprised at the reaction here, it actually wouldn't take too much to take down alot of internet traffic. My CS teacher actually was just teaching us about this 2 weeks ago. Apparently a main hub for this hemisphere is in a parking deck in VA. While physically taking that out would not crash the whole internet, it would cause some pretty decent jams.

I just dont understand why someone would want to do that though. "ha ha, very funny, you broke the internet" Now what are we going to do all day?
 

Mini-Me

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So, what would do they do once they bring the internet down? Watch 24 hour marathons of america's funniest home videos?

That's the thing: The kind of people with motivation to carry out this kind of devastating attack are not the 4chan/Anonymous crowd. You have some chaotic good, chaotic neutral, and chaotic evil characters in there, but shutting crashing the Internet would mean launching an attack on themselves.

To refresh everyone's memory, the federal government has been persistently trying to obtain the legal authority to essentially shut down the Internet in a time of "crisis." Thanks to Egypt's abuses and recent public recognition of the dangers, it's unlikely they'll succeed at making it "legal" in the short term...but just because it's not "legal" doesn't mean they wouldn't do it. Perpetual warrantless spying on anyone/everyone isn't legal either. ;) In other words, this is exactly the kind of attack an NSA-run botnet would perform if ordered to shut down the net, and the government itself would just fall back on plausible deniability.

There are a few other motives for carrying something like this out:
  1. A smaller threat is the possibility of a foreign government using this attack to cause mayhem or even just to experiment for intelligence purposes. (A much smaller threat is an attempt at communications disruptions prior to some ridiculously far-fetched invasion).
  2. It might be possible to use this as one element of a financially-motivated attack on routers surrounding stock market infrastructure. I have no idea how such an attack might work, or even if this "tool" would even be useful in any conceivable attack, but assuming its usefulness, money is as strong a motive as any.
  3. Finally, this really is the kind of attack that garden-variety terrorists might enjoy carrying out, especially if it were timed to cause confusion during actual, physical attacks. I'm not in the "watch for turrists under your bed!" crowd, but it's still worth noting that this would be a powerful tool for anyone intent on mayhem.
 

DeathPrincess

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If someone did switch off the interwebs, how would anyone know who did it? it's not like they could do it for the notoriety. I suppose you could read it a week later in a paper or magazine or maybe watch a few days later on TV, but jokes aside, how would anyone know? We'd all just get pissy with the ISPs while they fixed stuff and then connected the interwebs a day or two later. ISP stock prices would tumble, so they might probabaly improve service or remove caps or something nice, and people would get back to what they were doing, while some fool would hang themselves in a basement somewhere.
 

fatrat

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So, what would do they do once they bring the internet down? Watch 24 hour marathons of america's funniest home videos?

If the internet went down, I don't think you could do even that....unless you are watching on direcTV.

If the internet was to get taken down, this could create mass havoc on a scale that would be absolutely scary. Does anyone actually realize what goes over the internet these days?

Everything form cable tv....to phones...to financial transactions...even syndicated radio shows (like the jack fm format). Hell, I'm not even sure I could buy popcorn and soda to sit and watch the havoc were that to happen....because the cash registers in the stores would go down. :eek:

Is there anything you could do if the internet went down?
 

CompMage

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It would simply be the greatest show on earth!!!

The best part would be the thousands of thousands of people that DIE from not being able to get to WoW. LOL.
 

Dylan80

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It would simply be the greatest show on earth!!!

The best part would be the thousands of thousands of people that DIE from not being able to get to WoW. LOL.

Laugh but there would be tons of murders if the internet went down for a few days... no joke, don't forget people mostly are fucking batshit crazy when it boils down to their "needs" and if they can't get those needs, no matter if its BBQ chicken, crack, or World of Warcraft. Lots of markets will fuck up, and people will riot.
 

Dylan80

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.... and their porn supply would be severed too. :p


ROFL . Great picture reply, thanks for that one :D

That makes you think, tons of dudes who DON'T SAVE ANY PORN will be going bonkers, while the guys who have a collection on HDD will be able to turn them over for profit much, much easier :D Cause who pays $20 for a porno at the porno store? Honestly.... the only porn video i've seen a dude own lately in the past decade is girls gone wild and that's because its like $5 and spammed all over.

You could make a killing if the internet crashed, haha
 

The Slayer

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If the internet went down, I don't think you could do even that....unless you are watching on direcTV.

If the internet was to get taken down, this could create mass havoc on a scale that would be absolutely scary. Does anyone actually realize what goes over the internet these days?

Everything form cable tv....to phones...to financial transactions...even syndicated radio shows (like the jack fm format). Hell, I'm not even sure I could buy popcorn and soda to sit and watch the havoc were that to happen....because the cash registers in the stores would go down. :eek:

Is there anything you could do if the internet went down?

Good thing I have satellite TV then :D.

I didnt even think about phones, financial transactions or any of that other stuff.. With a lot websites hosted in the US, if the US internet went down it would affect the world as a whole much more than just if something like Egypt went down.

Take away a man's free access to internet porn, and what does he have to do any more? Hooker's would be making a lot of money and there would be a lot of rioting going on in the streets.
 

Azhar

Fixing stupid since 1972
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That depends on how spread out each of the botnet nodes are. It's probably possible.

Time delayed attacks via trojans would work too. Get everything out and into servers before the attack takes place so there's no need to route.
 

Mickey21

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except to give pause to those in control & to hopefully get some hardening &/or redundancy in place before the SHTF

Those that are in control usually know they are in control of something that someone else, however crazy, might like to disrupt. It is my opinion further that these people tend to think about these things and try reasonable measures to prevent problems. To ask them to go beyond that would totally make take away practicality as well as increase costs. I would guess they try to strike a middle ground on costs versus protection. Unfortunately sometimes they just get it wrong or someone else somewhere is trying harder than they are to oppose their intentions. It's unfortunate those that are in control are normally exposed to those that would oppose them.

As for this loophole or weakness presented, it isn't new information and those in control are likely aware (or grossly incapable) of its possible weakness. As already discussed, it would be a not be practical to implement such a plan and likely not successful.

I would wager this article is more likely trying to grab a reader by overstating old news in order to make it look like dramatic "sky is falling". Which I guess since we are talking about it, worked on some people. It is still sad.
 

bh192012

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The whole argument hinges on "Routers under extreme computational load tend to do funny things." Really? I thought they did very specific things. If there is a specific buffer that can be crashed I would understand, but otherwise the general "routers do wierd things" argument is beyond a strech. Also you cut yourself off of the next router you want to attack, if your tracert is working, then so is the internet. If tracert is not working, you can't specifically, with precision, attack the next target. Not to mention this will all be targeted on the fly since routers will be re-routing.

I see this as scare-mongering or confusion.
 

Gmok Bonecrusha

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I am not really sure this is really saying anything. If you know where to strike, then you can disrupt service. Heck there are so many versions of this plan, it isnt funny. Destroy a power plant here or there, destroy a certain main shipping port with fuel stocks, down a plane here or there, I mean really. At any given moment, there are so many ways that things can get disrupted, that it doesnt pay to think about it much. There are also things these same people do to prevent it from happening, not all of which are disclosed publicly, so yeah okay. We live in a world of endless possible destruction, from stubbing your toe to planetary destruction by aliens. Moving on.

Hmmmm. Know who can stop this?

 
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