COLLAPSE OF THE INTERNET IMMINENT?
In the era of modern cyberwarfare, even some seemingly fantastic claims are being taken seriously. There is a new threat on the horizon that sounds unreal but is given serious attention by cyber specialists.
But is it really more than an electronic April’s Fools Day joke?
“Operation Global Blackout” is a movement by a group of cyber hackers to shut down the Internet by launching an attack on Root Name Servers, the machines that control the Internet.
The hackers, claiming to be the infamous hacktivist network Anonymous, said that they are going to shut down the Internet to protest “SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), Wallstreet (sic), our irresponsible leaders and the beloved bankers who are starving the world for their own selfish needs.”
The group claims its intent is not to destroy the Internet but to disable it to draw attention to their demands.
The threat of an attack is reminiscent of the Jan. 18 protest in which Wikipedia took its website dark to protest the SOPA and PIPA (Protect IP Act) bills in Congress that were meant to stop the illegal sharing of movies and music on the Internet.
Every website has an associated numeric IP, or Internet Protocol, address. The root name servers are a critical part of the Internet because they are the first step in translating website names into IP addresses.
WND has a domain name, WND.com, and a corresponding IP address. Rather than try to remember the IP address, a person can type in the name of the website, and the Internet root name servers act like a phone book, finding the proper IP address and directing the request to the correct website.
Currently there are 13 name servers that are used to direct all Internet traffic worldwide. The servers are key components of the Internet, mapping domain names to IP addresses. Attacks on these servers could disrupt the operation of the Web.
These servers, however, are highly resilient and distributed, with backup systems if a server were to fail. Any attack on the servers would have to be coordinated in nature and attack all the servers at once.
While the root servers are designed to withstand such an attack, hackers believe they have found a vulnerability that will allow them to attack using other servers to do the work for them. In using what is called a Distributed Denial of Service Attack, DDoS, on the servers.
Operation Global Blackout calls for supporters to download a DDoS tool, called Ramp, which would flood the root name servers with more requests for IP addresses than they can possibly process. If the servers cannot be accessed to get the required IP address, anyone entering the name of a website would get an error page saying that the page could not be accessed.
Anonymous said the global shutdown “may only lasts [sic] one hour, maybe more, maybe even a few days. … Remember, this is a protest, we are not trying to ‘kill’ the internet, we are only temporarily shutting it down where it hurts the most. … No matter what, it will be global. It will be known.”
However, shutting down the servers may not be as simple as Anonymous believes. Kim Davies from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, ICANN, said, “There are not 13 root servers. There are many hundreds of root servers at over 130 physical locations in many different countries.”
Also protecting the servers is a strategy called “anycasting.” Using anycasting, the name servers are actually dozens of servers spread across the world acting as a single machine, each with a backup.
Robert Graham of Errata Security wrote, “The Anonymous hackers can certain[ly] cause local pockets of disruption, but these disruptions are going to be localized to networks where their attack machines are located. They might affect a few of the root DNS servers, but it’s unlikely they could take all of them down, at least for any period of time. On the day of their planned Global Blackout, it’s doubtful many people would notice.”
The Internet Traffic Report
is it possible?
or will it be an april fools day event?
check out the internet traffic report..if your on zero..you are out..yesterday there were zeros everywhere..