Is Someone Plotting to Take Down the Whole Internet?




/ 3 years ago

Is Someone Plotting to Take Down the Whole Internet?

A renowned security technologist has revealed that someone – possibly Chinese or Russian – is planning to take down the online infrastructures that effectively run the internet. Bruce Scheler, a cybersecurity expert and writer for Lawfare, believes a large nation state “has been probing the defenses of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet” which “take the form of precisely calibrated attacks designed to determine exactly how well these companies can defend themselves, and what would be required to take them down.” Scheler declares: “[T]his is happening. And people should know.”

“Recently, some of the major companies that provide the basic infrastructure that makes the Internet work have seen an increase in DDoS attacks against them,” Scheler writes. “Moreover, they have seen a certain profile of attacks. These attacks are significantly larger than the ones they’re used to seeing. They last longer. They’re more sophisticated. And they look like probing. One week, the attack would start at a particular level of attack and slowly ramp up before stopping. The next week, it would start at that higher point and continue. And so on, along those lines, as if the attacker were looking for the exact point of failure.”

“The attacks are also configured in such a way as to see what the company’s total defenses are,” he adds. “There are many different ways to launch a DDoS attacks. The more attack vectors you employ simultaneously, the more different defenses the defender has to counter with. These companies are seeing more attacks using three or four different vectors. This means that the companies have to use everything they’ve got to defend themselves. They can’t hold anything back. They’re forced to demonstrate their defense capabilities for the attacker.”

Scheler warns that nothing can be done to prevent such an attack – unless the NSA makes an international incident of it, he says – especially when the potential perpetrators remain a mystery. Data that Scheler has seen points to China, but he admits that location spoofing needs to be considered. Either way, Scheler’s research points to an imminent attack on the internet as a whole.

Image courtesy of Forbes.



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