Cyberattack FUD

sgorman1 at sgorman1 at
Wed Nov 20 21:14:24 UTC 2002

Well said - the radical elements get a lot more bang for their buck with
well placed media stories, than they would ever likely get from a cyber
attack on the Internet.  The one point to consider is that there are
critical networks for the economy that run on shared infrastructure also
used by the Internet.  Hence studying the susceptibility of the Internet
can be more than an exercise is guarateeing porn availability. 
Proprietary issues aside there is a lot to be learned and for fairly
good reasons.  Micro-biologists study the neural network of the c.elgans
worm not because they give a crap about worm brains but because it gives
insight to a bigger picture.  Not the best analogy but ya get the drift.

----- Original Message -----
From: William Waites <ww at>
Date: Wednesday, November 20, 2002 8:35 pm
Subject: Re: Cyberattack FUD

> >>> "Kurt" == Kurt Erik Lindqvist <kurtis at> writes:
>    Kurt> I am not  sure what you mean with 25%  of the Internet? What
>    Kurt> connectivity would degrade? From where to where?
> If you randomly  select nodes to remove, by the  time you have removed
> 25% of them, the network breaks up into many isolated islands. As Sean
> pointed  out, the  CAIDA study  considered a  sample of  the  50k most
> connected nodes.  So a  successful attack aimed  at 12500  big routers
> simultaneously would break the Internet into little pieces.
> If more strategy  is used in the selection  process, you get localized
> outages  -- i.e. disabling  everything in  60 Hudson  or 151  
> Front is
> likely to cause significant problems in New York or Toronto but you'll
> probably be able to see the rest of the world just fine from 
> Sweden. 
> A distributed physical  attack against a large number  of Telco Hotels
> and  trans-oceanic fibre landing  points would  be somewhat  
> worse. It
> would also be very difficult to do from a laptop.
> With  the exception  of E911  service (which  normally doesn't  
> use IP
> anyways), any such disruption is unlikely to really hurt anyone.  Such
> hand-wringing  whenever someone  threatens  to break  the Internet 
> is
> maybe a  sign of an unhealthy  dependence on a medium  that is younger
> than most of the people on this list?
> Taking the  fear mongering  and sabre rattling  too seriously  is much
> more dangerous than any possible network outage.
> -w

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