Network integrity and non-random removal of nodes

Stephen Sprunk ssprunk at
Fri Nov 22 15:29:27 UTC 2002

Thus spake "William Waites" <ww at>
> I stand corrected.
> It would be interesting to see what outdegree looks like as a function
> of  rank --  in  the paper  they  give only  the  maximum and  average
> (geo. mean) outdegrees. Is there also  a critical point 25% of the way
> through  the ranking?  Probably not  or one  would expect  they'd have
> mentioned it...
> So then  the 12500  *biggest* routers have  to be disabled  before the
> graph  breaks into  many islands.  This would  be yet  harder  from an
> attacker's point of view, no?

Perhaps.  What would happen if every public exchange went offline at the
same time?  I think there's enough private connections in the DFZ to
maintain full connectivity, even if it might get a little slower.

Attacking carrier POPs would be a different matter.  You can take all of
UUnet down by hitting the same number of buildings, but the addresses aren't
so easily discovered, and that's still only one carrier in one country.

However, all of this is still a relatively minor risk compared to the damage
that can be caused by simple human error.


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