Ethical DDoS drone network

David Barak thegameiam at
Tue Jan 6 00:01:36 UTC 2009

-- On Mon, 1/5/09, Roland Dobbins <rdobbins at> wrote:

> From: Roland Dobbins <rdobbins at>
> Subject: Re: Ethical DDoS drone network
> To: "NANOG list" <nanog at>
> Date: Monday, January 5, 2009, 6:39 PM
> On Jan 6, 2009, at 7:23 AM, David Barak wrote:
> > In my opinion, the real thing you can puzzle out of
> this kind of testing is the occasional hidden dependency.
> Yes - but if your lab accurately reflects production, you
> can discover this kind of thing in the lab (and one ought to
> already have a lab setup which reflects production for many
> reasons having nothing to do with security).

I agree - having a lab of that type is absolutely ideal.  However, the ideal and the real diverge tremendously in large and mid-size enterprise networks, because most enterprises just don't have enough lab equipment to adequately model all of the possible scenarios, and including the cost of a lab in the rollout immediately doubles all capital expenditures.  The types of problems that the ultra-large DoS can ferret out are the kind which *don't* show up in anything smaller than a 1:1 or 1:2 scale model.

Consider for a moment a large retail chain, with several hundred or a couple thousand locations.  How big a lab should they have before deciding to roll out a new network something-or-other?  Should their lab be 1:10 scale?  A more realistic figure is that they'll consider themselves lucky to be between 1:50 and 1:100, and that lab is probably understaffed at best.  Having a dedicated lab manager is often seen as an expensive luxury, and many businesses don't have the margin to support it.

David Barak
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