ITU plan to stop DoS attacks could end Net anonymity too

Civil rights advocates are concerned that ITU plans to limit DoS attacks by making it harder to spoof IP traffic could put an end to anonymity on the Internet.

Finding ways to limit DoS attacks and SMS spam by making it harder to spoof the origin of electronic communications is on the agenda at a telecommunications standards meeting next week -- but civil rights advocates worry it could put an end to anonymity on the Internet.

Making it possible to trace the origin of all Internet traffic "raises grave concerns in terms of facilitating government repression," said Jim Dempsey, vice president for public policy at the Center for Democracy and Technology. "I'm skeptical of the claimed benefits for security."

At a meeting of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Geneva this week, telecoms experts will discuss draft recommendation X.tb-ucr, Trace back use case and requirements, looking at ways to identify the source of packets sent across IP (Internet Protocol) networks.

"Knowing the source of traffic is essential for settlements and infrastructure protection, and more recently for preventing attacks on the network," said Tony Rutkowski, one of the members of the ITU working party on telecommunication security and also vice president for regulatory affairs and standards at Verisign.

Packets on IP networks are marked with the address of their source and destination. As the packets hop from router to router to reach their destination, routers make no note of where they came from. If the source address indicated on packets is spoofed, or fake, then there is no easy way to find out who is originating the traffic.

That's not necessarily a problem, unless the traffic is causing a nuisance, as is the case during a DoS (denial of service) attack on a server, for instance.

At one stage, said Rutkowski, around 10 percent of the requests reaching Verisign's DNS (Domain Name Servers) were from people trying to conduct DOS attacks. "We used to have our own traceback capability," he said.

At telcos, the CFO wants to know where that Internet traffic is coming from too. Carriers are seeing more SMS (Short Message Service) and VOIP (voice over IP) traffic from Internet gateways, and they have a right to charge the originators for delivering it. When the source of this traffic is concealed or spoofed, they don't know whom to bill. Such phantom traffic could be costing network operators hundreds of millions of dollars a year, Rutkowski said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags itudenial of service

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?