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   RE: [xml-dev] Can A Web Site Be Reliably Defended Against DoS Attacks?

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That seems to say that in no case should one risk 
any resource of critical value by putting it 
on the web because eleven men so inclined can 
always do it harm and this isn't a cost vs 
benefit issue.

As I review the material I find that while there are 
some means for detecting an attack and mitigating it, 
and others for restricting its effect such as 
limiting bandwidth available for certain operations, 
the overwhelming majority of defense in in the 
social behavior of those outside one's own control, 
that is, ensuring a system cannot be used to host 
an attack.  Defenses against it is not credible. 
It is as if the defender is always in the position 
of having stubs for arms against tall and lanky 
attackers; that is, it is an inherently unfair fight.

Is that really the case?  I read that Microsoft 
was able to defend their servers this time 
although SCO could not.


From: jcowan@reutershealth.com [mailto:jcowan@reutershealth.com]

Bullard, Claude L (Len) scripsit:

> Out of the blue... what are the defenses against DoS attacks? 
> Are they reliable or proximate?

The DDoS attack, which is the serious kind, was summed up by Jonathan
Swift as long ago as 1724 thus (emphasis added):

	It is true, indeed, that, within the memory of man, the
	parliaments of England have sometimes assumed the power of
	binding this kingdom [Ireland] by laws enacted there; wherein
	they were at first openly opposed (as far as truth, reason, and
	justice are capable of opposing) by the famous Mr. Molyneux,
	an English gentleman born here, as well as by several of the
	greatest patriots and best whigs in England; but the love and
	torrent of power prevailed.

	Indeed the arguments on both sides were invincible. For, in
	reason, all government without the consent of the governed, is
	the very definition of slavery: but, in fact, *eleven men well
	armed will certainly subdue one single man in his shirt*. But
	I have done; for those who have used power to cramp liberty,
	have gone so far as to resent even the liberty of complaining:
	although a man upon the rack was never known to be refused the
	liberty of roaring as loud as he thought fit.

Historical note:  it was on this precedent that the American colonies
their claim not to be governed by the English Parliament; they gave evidence
their refusal by dumping taxable tea into Boston Harbor.

If you understand,                      John Cowan
   things are just as they are;         http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
if you do not understand,               http://www.reutershealth.com
   things are just as they are.         jcowan@reutershealth.com


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