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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

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

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?