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Re: Counter DoS

  • From: william(at)
  • Date: Wed Mar 10 21:01:34 2004

On Wed, 10 Mar 2004, Joshua Brady wrote:

> Comments?

This is not really a comment about this article. But I really think it 
would have been better if people don't just put the link and then say 
"comments" but actually posted most important part of the article. 

In this case it should have been mentioned that is another article about 
Symbiot (remember thread about it just last week) and their threatened 
counter-strike anti-dos system... Here ared some quotes from this article:

<quote from above listed url; ... = snip>
Symbiot launches DDoS counter-strike tool 
Munir Kotadia
March 10, 2004, e5:15 GMT
In advance of the product launch, Symbiot's president, Mike Erwin, and its 
chief scientist, Paco Nathan, have outlined a set of "rules of engagement 
for information warfare"
The company said it bases its theory on the military doctrine of 
"necessity and proportionality", which means the response to an attack is 
proportionate to the attack's ferocity. According to the company, a response
could range from "profiling and blacklisting upstream providers" or it 
could be escalated to launch a "distributed denial of service counter-strike"
Governments could soon be using hacker tools for law enforcement and the 
pursuit of justice, according to an expert on IT and Internet law. Joel 
Reidenberg, professor of law at New York-based Fordham University, believes
it likely that denial of service attacks (DoS) and packet-blocking technology
will be employed by nation states to enforce their laws. This could even 
include attacks on companies based in other countries, he says.

To be fair I choose specific parts of the article and it does list views 
and concern of some security experts

<other quotes from same article>
Security experts expressed alarm at the company's plans.

Graham Titterington, principal analyst at Ovum, said "such a counterattack 
wo,ld not be regarded as self-defence and would therefore be an attack. It 
would be illegal in those jurisdictions where an anti-hacking law is in place.
" He added that because many hacking and DDoS attacks are launched from 
hijacked computers, the system would be unlikely to find its real target: 
"Attacks are often launched from a site that has been hijacked, making it 
an unwitting and innocent -- although possibly slightly negligent -- party."

Richard Starnes, director of incident response at Cable and Wireless 
Managed Security Services, said he would not employ an "active defence 
technique" because there are legal and ethical issues involved. Also, he 
would not be happy about any product "specifically designed to launch 
attacks" being put into commercial production. Starnes said it would be 
easy to hit the wrong target and even if it was the right target, there 
could be collateral damage: "You may be taking out grandma's computer in 
Birmingham that has got a 100-year-old cookie recipe that has not been 
backed up. The attack could also knock over a Point of Presence (PoP), so 
you are not only attacking the target, but also the feeds before them -- 
this means taking out ISPs, businesses and home users."
</other quotes>

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