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Escalating DoS attacks may 'shut down the Internet'

By RobotGod     Sep 26, 2007 in Internet
Denial-of-service attacks are now growing faster than bandwidth is being added to the Internet, at least according to VeriSign, the company that administers the .com domain...
ZDNet reports that Criminal groups selling services online are increasingly threatening the very fabric of the Internet, as the size of the compromised networks of computers they control increases, according to VeriSign.
The company claimed that a successful denial-of-service (DoS) attack against VeriSign could bring down the whole Internet.
"There are attacks attempting to shut down our servers," said Ken Silva, VeriSign's chief security officer. "This would effectively shut down the Internet."
Silva said that although DoS attacks are extremely difficult to trace, there are "a couple of well-known groups in Russia, China and Romania" that may be acting with their government's knowledge.
"It would be hard to imagine groups who have this much activity going unnoticed by their governments," he said.
The chief security officer said that VeriSign "hoped to get smarter" in blocking such malicious traffic. According to them, they can continue to add bandwidth, but ultimately 20 years or so down the line, it can't continue as a footrace. The Internet as a whole has to get smarter in denying the attacks.
VeriSign is taking steps. They are upgrading the infrastructure in a scheme called Project Titan. This includes adding bandwidth, but it will also be monitoring the systems more closely.
"Our monitoring systems now resemble those for the space shuttle," said Silva. "We monitor the capability of our CPUs and memory allocation on all of our servers. We're predicting what problems will occur rather than waiting for them to occur."
Many public-sector organisations in the UK are victims of DoS attacks. The Probation Service upgraded their servers in the past week to cope with traffic created by botnets.
"We've had to upgrade our hardware in the last week to cope with an unexpected increase in the volume of malicious traffic at the network gateway," the security manager told ZDNet Australia sister site "Simply coping with that is compromising our ability to run our business. The problem is simply coping with what is coming at us."
Let's hope they get a handle on this. No addict wants to lose the internet. Geeks would have to physically "digg" real objects in their parent's basements, or call framed pictures on the wall "flickr" accounts.
More about Dos attacks, Internet, Shut down