Flash crowds and DOS on POTS

Iljitsch van Beijnum iljitsch at muada.com
Mon May 17 08:32:32 UTC 2004

On 17-mei-04, at 4:53, Sean Donelan wrote:

> All networks are vulnerable to Denial of Service attacks and flash
> crowds.  Broadcasting & Cable investigates the problems with the
> telephone and SMS voting with the Fox television show American
> Idol.

This is _very_ old news. Something like this happened in Holland ages 
ago, and it was even named the "Henny Huisman effect" after the show's 

The phone network is very fragile. Just about anything unusual causes 
massive congestion. For instance, the 9/11 problems in New York 
disrupted long distance service throughout the entire US and even 
international service in some unrelated parts of the world. But even 
more mundane problems such as last summer's power outage have similar 

> The difference is when people get a "busy" signal on the phone
> network, they don't think phone network is collapsing.

If they knew the difference between a busy signal and a congestion 
signal they probably would...

BTW, what do you think happens when everyone starts running the water 
tap at the same time?

More information about the NANOG mailing list