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

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I suggest reading the story of the DDoS attacks on Gibson Research's site

It is enlightening and frightening.



                      "Bullard, Claude                                                                                             
                      L (Len)"                 To:       "'jcowan@reutershealth.com'" <jcowan@reutershealth.com>                   
                      <clbullar@ingr.co        cc:       xml-dev@lists.xml.org                                                     
                      m>                       Subject:  RE: [xml-dev] Can A Web Site Be Reliably Defended Against DoS Att         
                      02/04/2004 02:38                                                                                             

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,
             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
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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