Smurf Prevention

Richard Thomas buglord at
Tue Jul 14 08:24:52 UTC 1998

-----Original Message-----
From: Joe Shaw <jshaw at>
To: Richard Thomas <buglord at>
Cc: nanog at <nanog at>
Date: Monday, July 13, 1998 10:44 AM
Subject: Re: Smurf Prevention

>On Mon, 13 Jul 1998, Richard Thomas wrote:
>> HOW HARD CAN IT BE to take care of 500 broadcasts? Very hard, since the
>> bcasts still left are those with broken contact information and upstreams
>> who haven't been informed or who don't give a damn. Maybe if we all
>> 10 of the worst offenders every day, picked up the phone, and started
>> informing people who have missed the boat...
>I'm still quite fond of blackholing entities which are completely
>irresponsible, though for the larger carriers this wouldn't be much of a
>threat.  But after having tried to track down smurfers, I'm wondering if
>anyone has ever actually done it.  I would think you would have to either
>get in touch with a smurf amplifier or their upstream to track the DoS,
>but how successful has anyone been in doing so?  I would think that
>since smurfs have been popular amongst the script kiddies for so long
>that all the entities that are easy to get in touch with have already
>heard from victims and hopefully fixed the situation.  Also, I wonder if
>there is any way to hold the amplifiers legally responsible for smurfs
>that use their networks after being given repeated notice?

I certainly know people who have had it traced back (when a bcast being used
is on a major backbone, or after 2-3 days of being attacked), but I have not
actually heard of anyone being "caught". In all cases the smurfer was on a
university network, several times in euro, a few in the US, and no attempts
were made to find the kid involved. Besides we all know the only thing they
would find is someone's wingate. As for holding amplifiers responsible,
everyone talks about it, nobody does it, and if they are liable for being a
broadcast you're not gonna get much of a judgement, since you can't prove
malicious intent.

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