Security Intelligence [Was: Re: Netblock reassigned from Chile to US ISP...]

Seth Mattinen sethm at
Sat Dec 20 07:49:03 UTC 2008

Luke S Crawford wrote:
> Randy Bush <randy at> writes:
>>> speaking as a small provider, I can tell you that I find running snort
>>> against my inbound traffic does reduce the cost of running an abuse desk.
>>> I do catch offenders before I get abuse@ complaints, sometimes.
>> unfortunately snort does not really scale to a larger provider.  and,
>> to the best of my poor knowledge, good open source tools to
>> black-hole/redirect botted users are not generally
>> available. universities have some that are good at campus and
>> enterprise scale.
> I can't speak to the scaling of snort  (I only eat around 20Mbps,
> and snort on a 256Mb Xen VM handles it just fine)  but I'm not 
> sure what you are getting at with regards to open-source tools to 
> blackhole or redirect botted users.  I mean, we've all got hooks
> in our billing system (or some other procedure) to manually disable
> abusive (or non-paying) customers now, right?  I guess I'm not seeing 
> how it is any harder to have a script watching snort disable the
> customer than it is to have freeside disable the customer when they
> dont pay their bill.

I suppose it could lead to huge amounts of anger from an existing 
customer base if automatic cutoffs started showing up one day out of the 
blue (to their perspective). I automatically disable various things for 
a whole slew of reasons - but I've been doing it since day one and 
everyone is aware of it and expects it. Or slowly phase them in with 
warnings leading up to automated action.

Repetitive, boring tasks are great for computers. I've only ever had one 
customer (a local advertising agency, who is no longer a customer) cry 
over automation because they thought they had a "special treatment" 
clause and didn't need to pay. It sent them warnings, of course, but 
they thought those didn't apply to them either. Automation isn't for 

I like automation. It has rules and follows them. The rules are posted 
ahead of time for all to see. Most of the time people are happy to see 
the automated system put a stop to some kind of potential disaster 
before it has time to cause more damage. It's like your credit card 
company calling you because suddenly there's abnormal charges on your card.


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