300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

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KnightExemplar
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300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:41 pm UTC

Spamhaus is a group that tracks spam email senders, and they compile lists of ip addresses and domain names where they believe spam is coming from. Sometime in the last few weeks, they added a new domain name to the list, and have since had a DDOS attack sustained against them. Today, the attack has been reported to hit over 300GB/s, making this the largest DDOS attack in web history. Apparently, this DDOS attack was so big, it started effecting the normal consumer traffic today, especially in London. So if there are any Brits out there, I'm interested in knowing the status of your internet today. 8-)

Spamhaus apparently handled this attack like a champ, and one of their providers is bragging about their handling of this event. (indeed, defending successfully against the largest DDOS attack in history is worth bragging about). The Cloudflare blog has a lot of interesting information about this event as well, so I recommend reading it if you're in the IT field, and are curious how this particular attack / defense went down.

The main problem about this attack is it introduced a new form of DDOS, apparently related to Open DNS recursors. It is difficult to determine the attacker's IP addresses, and as long as there is some improperly configured DNS server out there... this attack is possible. There are discussions around tech blogs about how to solve the problem, but I'm not following it very much >_<. It looks pretty complicated, with no real solution, so this attack methodology may remain possible for the near future.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/27/techn ... .html?_r=0
Millions of ordinary Internet users have experienced delays in services like Netflix or could not reach a particular Web site for a short time.

However, for the Internet engineers who run the global network the problem is more worrisome. The attacks are becoming increasingly powerful, and computer security experts worry that if they continue to escalate people may not be able to reach basic Internet services, like e-mail and online banking.


http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/03/27/ ... tack-many/
“It's the largest publicly announced DDoS attack in the history of the Internet,” Gilmore said to the New York Times.


http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-575 ... e-effects/
"It is a small miracle that we're still online," Spamhaus researcher Vincent Hanna said in an interview.


https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5450410
summerdown2

I understand the issues with DNS reflection, but why are open resolvers the issue? Isn't the point of DNS to respond to requests with correct information?
Surely if random people can't connect to DNS resolvers and get information, they can't surf the net either? Someone has to resolve DNS for people for the internet to function, don't they?

---

yuliyp
DNS runs over UDP, which means the source of requests for information can be spoofed. Also, the amount of data of a response is significantly larger than the request, so you can use DNS resolvers to send significantly more data to a victim than you yourself need to generate by sending DNS queries with your victim as the source IP.


http://blog.cloudflare.com/the-ddos-tha ... e-internet
/\ Just a good overview. Gotta read it.
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Carnildo
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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby Carnildo » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:13 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:The main problem about this attack is it introduced a new form of DDOS, apparently related to Open DNS recursors.

There's nothing new about it: the attack itself was a completely standard distributed reflected denial-of-service attack, using DNS resolvers as amplifiers. This sort of attack has been around for almost a decade. It's just never been used on this scale before, and I don't think it's ever been used this particular way before (attacking the target's peers rather than the target itself).

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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby Paul in Saudi » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:46 am UTC

These sort of events are lessons, and I hope we all are learning the lessons.

For the average civilian, the lesson is the internet can go down. Further it almost certainly will go down form time to time and from place to place. For businesses, the lesson is much the same. In the same way any wise person is ready for a power outage, we all should be ready for an internet outage last perhaps up to a week.

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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby PeteP » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:18 pm UTC

Paul in Saudi wrote:These sort of events are lessons, and I hope we all are learning the lessons.

For the average civilian, the lesson is the internet can go down. Further it almost certainly will go down form time to time and from place to place. For businesses, the lesson is much the same. In the same way any wise person is ready for a power outage, we all should be ready for an internet outage last perhaps up to a week.

Power outages are rare (I vaguely remember one, but I can't recall when that was) and outages long enough to require preparation are so rare that I wouldn't consider it worth my time to prepare. But naturally that depends on where you live.
But I agree internet downtime could cause quite some damage to some companies.

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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby Sero » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:40 pm UTC

A widespread (several cities? Half the US? I'm not sure what's probable with such an outage) internet outage lasting for an extended period would be a pretty big deal for more than just businesses. A lot of it depends on the specifics of the networks affected, and I don't have the expertise to make any sort of informed speculation. But assuming 'no communication between computers is possible outside the local area network during the outage'...Banking would largely shut down. ATMs definitely aren't going to work. Ditto for credit and debit cards. When refueling my car recently at a busy gas station, I had to go in to pay, because the pump refused my card. Learned from the clerk that their internet was out, and so card authorizations were going out one at a time over dial-up. But dial-up would potentially be affected too. Do stores have the ability to order new stock during an outage? Is it all computerized?

It would hardly be the apocalypse, but more than just companies that obviously depend on the internet directly for their revenue stream would be affected. On the other hand, one of the wonderful things about the internet is that it has proven quite resilient to outages on that scale. This attack has proven that resiliency is less than we might like, but it is still significant. Europe didn't lose the internet, it just became congested and intermittent, which is far easier to live with than a total outage.
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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby sardia » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:37 pm UTC

Paul in Saudi wrote:These sort of events are lessons, and I hope we all are learning the lessons.

For the average civilian, the lesson is the internet can go down. Further it almost certainly will go down form time to time and from place to place. For businesses, the lesson is much the same. In the same way any wise person is ready for a power outage, we all should be ready for an internet outage last perhaps up to a week.

No, the real lesson is that corporations are too damn cheap(contrarily it cost too damn much) to fix their security flaws. This is a job for government regulation. it says it in the article itself, the security flaw was obvious and has a solution, it's called money.

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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby Sockmonkey » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:07 pm UTC

So what companies are the worst spam offenders and what factors prevent us from going after them directly? Specifically, the companies that make those things the spam advertises I mean.

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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby mousewiz » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:29 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
Paul in Saudi wrote:These sort of events are lessons, and I hope we all are learning the lessons.

For the average civilian, the lesson is the internet can go down. Further it almost certainly will go down form time to time and from place to place. For businesses, the lesson is much the same. In the same way any wise person is ready for a power outage, we all should be ready for an internet outage last perhaps up to a week.

No, the real lesson is that corporations are too damn cheap(contrarily it cost too damn much) to fix their security flaws. This is a job for government regulation. it says it in the article itself, the security flaw was obvious and has a solution, it's called money.

What's the government going to regulate? "You're not allowed to run any service that reflects and amplifies traffic"? Because that sounds like a bad regulation that breaks a lot of services.

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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby sardia » Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:41 am UTC

Mousewiz, your biased statement is part of the problem. We have all these companies that are easy prey for hackers and even routine security practices are too expensive for companies to implement. The only way it's gonna happen is if they suffer an attack that is so damaging and so long, that they have to fix it or die. The alternative is to force all the companies to fix them at the same time. The most common way? Government regulation. The way you describe it would fit well in Upton Sinclair's Jungle.
"You're not allowed to run any services that have rats being fed to people"? or "You're not allowed to run any services that don't secure your credit card and social security information." Yup, terrible regulation.

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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby mousewiz » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:33 am UTC

sardia wrote:Mousewiz, your biased statement is part of the problem. We have all these companies that are easy prey for hackers and even routine security practices are too expensive for companies to implement. The only way it's gonna happen is if they suffer an attack that is so damaging and so long, that they have to fix it or die. The alternative is to force all the companies to fix them at the same time. The most common way? Government regulation. The way you describe it would fit well in Upton Sinclair's Jungle.
"You're not allowed to run any services that have rats being fed to people"? or "You're not allowed to run any services that don't secure your credit card and social security information." Yup, terrible regulation.

It's not all these companies. It's all these everyone. BitTorrent's DHT network can amplify and reflect traffic, for example. Reflection and amplification aren't really problems that can be solved through regulation without slowing down the entire Internet (and if you spend money to increase the Internet's capacity, people will just take advantage of that and use it, meaning you need to increase capacity again... so that's another thing you'd need to regulate) which kind of defeats the purpose of the regulation to begin with.

Data handling is an entirely different issue and bringing it up is kind a bleh thing to do.

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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby Bharrata » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:30 am UTC

Carnildo wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:The main problem about this attack is it introduced a new form of DDOS, apparently related to Open DNS recursors.

There's nothing new about it: the attack itself was a completely standard distributed reflected denial-of-service attack, using DNS resolvers as amplifiers. This sort of attack has been around for almost a decade. It's just never been used on this scale before, and I don't think it's ever been used this particular way before (attacking the target's peers rather than the target itself).


It sounds like it's essentially that bit I bolded...except in this case the peers happened to be some of the world's largest IXPs. I can't tell from the various reports if this was intended or just a consequence of the attackers trying to choke any point upstream of Cloudflare, but it at least seems like the people who deal with DDoS attacks for a living don't believe it was intentional.

An employee at one of those upstream providers, though I'm fairly certain not one of those Tier 1 European IXPs, commented on this earlier today in response to this gizmodo article.

Quoting the relevant-ish bits:

Richard Steenbergen wrote:In defense of the claims in other articles, there is a huge difference between "taking down the entire Internet" and "causing impact to notable portions of the Internet". My company, most other large Internet carriers, and even the largest Internet exchange points, all deliver traffic at multi-terabits-per-second rates, so in the grand scheme of things 300 Gbps is certainly not going to destroy the Internet, wipe anybody off the map, or even show up as more than a blip on the charts of global traffic levels. That said, there is absolutely NO network on this planet who maintains 300 Gbps of active/lit but unused capacity to every point in their network. This would be incredibly expensive and wasteful, and most of us are trying to run for-profit commercial networks, so when 300 Gbps of NEW traffic suddenly shows up and all wants to go to ONE location, someone is going to have a bad day.

...

If the attacks had stopped here, nobody in the "mainstream media" would have noticed, and it would have been just another fun day for a few geeks on the Internet.

The next part is where things got interesting, and is the part that nobody outside of extremely technical circles has actually bothered to try and understand yet. After attacking Cloudflare and their upstream Internet providers directly stopped having the desired effect, the attackers turned to any other interconnection point they could find, and stumbled upon Internet Exchange Points like LINX (in London), AMS-IX (in Amsterdam), and DE-CIX (in Frankfurt), three of the largest IXPs in the world.

An IXP is an "interconnection fabric", essentially just a large switched LAN, which acts as a common meeting point for different networks to connect and exchange traffic with each other. Every member connects a router, and is given a single IP address out of a common IP block to facilitate the interconnection. For example, one of LINX's main blocks is a single /22, and every member has an IP within that block. When two networks want to connect with each other, they set up a BGP session between their IPs, and the traffic is switched across the LAN just like it would be in any other switched network.

...

Note that the vast majority of global Internet traffic does NOT travel over these types of public IXPs, but rather goes via direct private interconnections between specific networks. Typically IXP traffic represents more of the "long tail" of networks who are peering with each other, i.e. they're used by a large number of generally smaller networks, or by larger networks who are looking to offload some of their "lower speed" interconnections. Collectively it still adds up to a lot of traffic, but the really "big" pipes that carry most of the Internet traffic are all private point-to-point links (called PNIs).

So, what you actually saw here was an attack affecting a large number of smaller networks, with something which was really a completely unrelated and unintended side-effect of the original attack.



Seems like an interesting development in network security and topology that was also slightly used as an opportunity for PR on Cloudflare's pet cause (open recursors).

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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby Carnildo » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:01 am UTC

sardia wrote:
Paul in Saudi wrote:These sort of events are lessons, and I hope we all are learning the lessons.

For the average civilian, the lesson is the internet can go down. Further it almost certainly will go down form time to time and from place to place. For businesses, the lesson is much the same. In the same way any wise person is ready for a power outage, we all should be ready for an internet outage last perhaps up to a week.

No, the real lesson is that corporations are too damn cheap(contrarily it cost too damn much) to fix their security flaws. This is a job for government regulation. it says it in the article itself, the security flaw was obvious and has a solution, it's called money.

Which solution? The fundamental problem is that there are Internet services that will send back a larger data packet than they received, to an arbitrary address. You can't outlaw address spoofing (well, you can, but such a law would have no effect). The only solution would be to outlaw UDP and other connectionless protocols, which is almost as impractical.

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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby pelrigg » Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:23 am UTC

Didn't notice any updates regarding this attack. But this has been in the news of late: {not sure if I'm allowed to post actual links yet. Nor how. So I'll give the address and copy-paste the articles}

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22314938

26 April 2013 Last updated at 11:39 ET

Dutchman arrested over huge web attack

Huge spam botnet is taken down
Huge web attack slows down internet
'Biggest ever attack' slows internet

Spanish police have arrested a Dutchman suspected of being behind one of the biggest ever web attacks.
The 35 year-old-man was detained in Barcelona following a request from the Dutch public prosecutor.
The attack bombarded the websites of anti-junk mail outfit Spamhaus with huge amounts of data in an attempt to knock them offline.
It also slowed data flows over closely linked networks and led to a massive police investigation.
The man arrested is believed to be Sven Kamphuis, the owner and manager of Dutch hosting firm Cyberbunker that has been implicated in the attack.
"Spamhaus is delighted at the news that an individual has been arrested and is grateful to the Dutch police for the resources they have made available and the way they have worked with us," said a Spamhaus spokesman.
He added: "Spamhaus remains concerned about the way network resources are being exploited as they were in this incident due to the failure of network providers to implement best practice in security."
Spamhaus servers were hit with a huge amount of data via an attack technique known as a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. This attempts to overwhelm a web server by sending it many more requests for data than it can handle.
A typical DDoS attack employs about 50 gigabits of data every second (gbps). At its peak the attack on Spamhaus hit 300 gbps.
Cyberbunker is thought to have kicked off the attack in late March after Spamhaus blocked some servers hosted by the Dutch firm. Cyberbunker bills itself as a firm that will host anything but child pornography and terrorism material.
Non-profit Spamhaus maintains what are known as "block lists" which many organisations use to spot sources of spam and other junk mail to stop them clogging mail servers and inboxes with unwanted messages.
Mr Kamphuis took exception to Spamhaus's action saying in messages sent to the press that it had no right to decide "what goes and does not go on the internet".
In a statement, the Dutch public prosecutor said the Dutchman, who it only identifies as "SK", was "suspected of unprecedented heavy attacks" on Spamhaus. The house where SK was stayed was searched at the time of his arrest and Spanish police confiscated computers, phones and hard drives.
It said it expected SK to be transferred to the Netherlands very soon. A spokesman for the Dutch police said they were co-operating with British and American authorities on the investigation into the attack.

And later:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22337404

Spamhaus hacking suspect 'had mobile attack van'

A Dutchman accused of mounting one of the biggest attacks on the internet used a "mobile computing office" in the back of a van.


The 35-year-old, identified by police as "SK", was arrested last week.
He has been blamed for being behind "unprecedentedly serious attacks" on non-profit anti-spam watchdog Spamhaus.
Dutch, German, British and US police forces took part in the investigation leading to the arrest, Spanish authorities said.
The Spanish interior minister said SK was able to carry out network attacks from the back of a van that had been "equipped with various antennas to scan frequencies".
He was apprehended in the city of Granollers, 20 miles (35km) north of Barcelona. It is expected that he will be extradited from Spain to be tried in the Netherlands.

'Robust web hosting'

Police said that upon his arrest SK told them he belonged to the "Telecommunications and Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Republic of Cyberbunker".
Cyberbunker is a company that says it offers highly secure and robust web hosting for any material except child pornography or terrorism-related activity.
Spamhaus is an organisation based in London and Geneva that aims to help email providers filter out spam and other unwanted content.
To do this, the group maintains a number of blocklists, a database of servers known to be being used for malicious purposes.
Police alleged that SK co-ordinated an attack on Spamhaus in protest over its decision to add servers maintained by Cyberbunker to a spam blacklist.

Overwhelm server

Spanish police were alerted in March to large distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks originating in Spain but affecting servers in the UK, Netherlands and US.
DDoS attacks attempt to overwhelm a web server by sending it many more requests for data than it can handle.
A typical DDoS attack employs about 50 gigabits of data per second (Gbps). At its peak the attack on Spamhaus hit 300Gbps.
In a statement in March, Cyberbunker "spokesman" Sven Kamphuis took exception to Spamhaus's action, saying in messages sent to the press that it had no right to decide "what goes and does not go on the internet".

<End stories>

So does anyone know what Cyberbunker is and why Spamhaus put it on their list?
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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby mousewiz » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:10 am UTC

pelrigg wrote:So does anyone know what Cyberbunker is and why Spamhaus put it on their list?

Based on their name, their list of disallowed content, and the fact that spamhaus blocked them, I'm guessing they provide bulletproof hosting. Eg, the kind of ISP that will look the other way when you do things like send a ton of bulk email, or host exploit packs on your site, or run a botnet command and control, or whatever.

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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby pelrigg » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:24 am UTC

mousewiz wrote:Based on their name, their list of disallowed content, and the fact that spamhaus blocked them, I'm guessing they provide bulletproof hosting. Eg, the kind of ISP that will look the other way when you do things like send a ton of bulk email, or host exploit packs on your site, or run a botnet command and control, or whatever.


So in other words, he's mad at Spamhaus because they won't let him be a jerk????

Oh, just wah!
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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:14 am UTC

pelrigg wrote:
mousewiz wrote:Based on their name, their list of disallowed content, and the fact that spamhaus blocked them, I'm guessing they provide bulletproof hosting. Eg, the kind of ISP that will look the other way when you do things like send a ton of bulk email, or host exploit packs on your site, or run a botnet command and control, or whatever.


So in other words, he's mad at Spamhaus because they won't let him be a jerk????

Oh, just wah!


I think he's mad at Spamhaus because they have the power to not let him be a jerk. Based on his comments of "that it had no right to decide what goes and does not go on the internet"...

Whatever. The web is better when spammers are getting blocked.
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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby kiklion » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:40 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
pelrigg wrote:
mousewiz wrote:Based on their name, their list of disallowed content, and the fact that spamhaus blocked them, I'm guessing they provide bulletproof hosting. Eg, the kind of ISP that will look the other way when you do things like send a ton of bulk email, or host exploit packs on your site, or run a botnet command and control, or whatever.


So in other words, he's mad at Spamhaus because they won't let him be a jerk????

Oh, just wah!


I think he's mad at Spamhaus because they have the power to not let him be a jerk. Based on his comments of "that it had no right to decide what goes and does not go on the internet"...

Whatever. The web is better when spammers are getting blocked.


Particularly, when those blocking the spammers are a privately run business whose block lists are optional.

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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby mousewiz » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:03 pm UTC

kiklion wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:
pelrigg wrote:
mousewiz wrote:Based on their name, their list of disallowed content, and the fact that spamhaus blocked them, I'm guessing they provide bulletproof hosting. Eg, the kind of ISP that will look the other way when you do things like send a ton of bulk email, or host exploit packs on your site, or run a botnet command and control, or whatever.


So in other words, he's mad at Spamhaus because they won't let him be a jerk????

Oh, just wah!


I think he's mad at Spamhaus because they have the power to not let him be a jerk. Based on his comments of "that it had no right to decide what goes and does not go on the internet"...

Whatever. The web is better when spammers are getting blocked.


Particularly, when those blocking the spammers are a privately run business whose block lists are optional.

Yeah, that's the key. It's also entertaining to me that the guy who (allegedly) tried to remove Spamhaus from the Internet is complaining that Spamhaus shouldn't have the right to decide what's on the Internet.

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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:28 pm UTC

Spamming is harassment. If you count every obnoxious email as having a negative impact of 5 cents, and assume that the average value of a human life is $10m, every 200m spam emails is equivalent to one murder.

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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby Роберт » Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:29 pm UTC

mousewiz wrote:Yeah, that's the key. It's also entertaining to me that the guy who (allegedly) tried to remove Spamhaus from the Internet is complaining that Spamhaus shouldn't have the right to decide what's on the Internet.

Yes, that is worthy of a :lol:
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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby Diadem » Wed May 01, 2013 9:36 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Spamming is harassment. If you count every obnoxious email as having a negative impact of 5 cents, and assume that the average value of a human life is $10m, every 200m spam emails is equivalent to one murder.

And if we assume planes are held aloft by flying ferrets, and every fur coat takes about 240 ferrets to produce, then every time you go outside while not naked, you cause 15 plane crashes.

I entirely agree that spamming is harassment and should be illegal, but if you're just going to make stuff up, odds are your argument won't be very convincing.
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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby Elvish Pillager » Wed May 01, 2013 11:28 am UTC

Yeah, and the negative impact is nowhere near five cents. If you could get five cents for every spam email you glance at and ignore, glancing at large volumes of spam would be a very high-paying job. You could earn a decent living working 2 hours per week.
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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby CorruptUser » Wed May 01, 2013 12:29 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Spamming is harassment. If you count every obnoxious email as having a negative impact of 5 cents, and assume that the average value of a human life is $10m, every 200m spam emails is equivalent to one murder.

And if we assume planes are held aloft by flying ferrets, and every fur coat takes about 240 ferrets to produce, then every time you go outside while not naked, you cause 15 plane crashes.

I entirely agree that spamming is harassment and should be illegal, but if you're just going to make stuff up, odds are your argument won't be very convincing.


Except that the EPA and DoT value the human life at around $7m when it comes to determining whether or not to, say, build a streetlight instead of a stop sign. If it has a 1 in 10,000 chance of preventing 1 death, it's worth $700.

As for how much harm spam does, keep in mind that spam makes up a not insignificant portion of Internet traffic (try using an email without even the most basic of spam filters to see just how much crap gets filtered). How much would you pay to increase your Internet speed by 10%? A dollar a month? How many people would pay that?

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Zamfir
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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby Zamfir » Wed May 01, 2013 3:27 pm UTC

CorruptUser, such numbers are not in any sense intended as equivalence between a loss of a human life, and the loss of a generic amount of money. Obviously, I would add.

They only apply in specific contexts, where people have already decided that a certain risk-bearing activity is worth the risk. Not just 'worth it' in a monetary sense, but for example also because people like to go places by car. This is where the main tradeoff between risk and benefits occurs, and the relevant decision processes are far more complex than a simple count of dollars.

Such dollar/life simplifications come into play after a main decision is already made, to create some twerk room around an acceptance decision. For example, people already accept the risks that are associated with current traffic. The dollar amount extents this acceptance to a wider acceptance of the current situation plus other situations that can be derived from it by changes that reduce risk at a price of less than 7 million/per life saved. It says 'if it fits this simple rule, we don't have to reconsider, just build it'

You can't tear that context away and keep only the number. You can't even conclude that people would accept reductions of safety if they saved more than 7 million. The number only applies to improvements in safety of situations that are already deemed acceptably safe.

Applying the number to spam, at whatever conversion factor at all, is just meaningless. It's like saying 'some cars cost 9000 dollar, so it's OK to steal a car if I donate 9000 dollar to the Red Cross. And if I wreck a car, i can pay 9000 dollar less in taxes.' After all, a car is 9000 dollar, right?'

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CorruptUser
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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby CorruptUser » Wed May 01, 2013 3:50 pm UTC

Ever read Terry Pratchett's 'Going Postal'?

Spoiler:
The golem hunting Moist explains that Moist had indeed done the equivalent of 2.3 murders. Moist calls BS, until he actually meets one of the victims of his favorite crime and sees how he destroyed her life.


Spam does damage. A single spam email is not the same as a murder. But there does come a calculation where you can say 'alright we have a budget for our police department, by doing A we expect to stop X1 murders X2 rapes X3 burglaries and X4 spam emails, and doing B we can stop Y1 murders Y2 rapes Y3 burglaries and Y4 spam emails'. Just because murder has the highest weighting doesn't mean than reducing 1 murder is better than reducing a thousand rapes.

It may very well be that all the spam in the world is less severe than a single murder. But spam has some weight.

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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed May 01, 2013 4:34 pm UTC

Ever read Terry Pratchett's 'Going Postal'?


And that book was an extreme parody and written sarcastically throughout. It was a book critical of bureaucrats who think only in terms of their job, as opposed to thinking about how things work in the greater scheme of things. It is one of the ultimate works of satire. In fact, when Moist is given two choices for his punishment of 2.3 murders: sentenced to death, or sentenced to serve as the postmaster and revitalize the dying post office industry. The story is about how death is in fact better than serving as Postmaster General.

It'd be as if I referenced Swift's "A Modest Proposal" for reasons on why baby-eating is moral... or told you that Stephen Colbert was seriously running for President.
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CorruptUser
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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby CorruptUser » Wed May 01, 2013 5:30 pm UTC

And another point of the book was that Moist's actions were not harmless just because he was stealing from large faceless corporations.


And for the record, I would've voted for Colbert/Stewart over Romney or Obama.

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Sockmonkey
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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby Sockmonkey » Fri May 03, 2013 11:26 pm UTC

How much of the net's capaicity is eaten up by spam?
Can the makers of the products spam advertises be held accountable?

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CorruptUser
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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby CorruptUser » Fri May 03, 2013 11:33 pm UTC

If an employee on behalf of an employer in the 'normal course of business' causes damage, yes. Good luck proving spam is the normal course of business, or that c1@las is actually funding the spam.

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Sockmonkey
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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby Sockmonkey » Sat May 04, 2013 10:44 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:If an employee on behalf of an employer in the 'normal course of business' causes damage, yes. Good luck proving spam is the normal course of business, or that c1@las is actually funding the spam.

Soo, can't go after the employee at least?

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CorruptUser
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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby CorruptUser » Sat May 04, 2013 11:28 pm UTC

They can go after anyone committing a crime, just that you can't sue the business for the actions of an employee unless it was part of a 'normal course of business'.

For example, if a Domino's delivery driver got out of his car to cap a punk-ass bitch, you couldn't sue Domino's. But if the driver sped through a red light to make sure you got your pizza in time and hit someone, you can sue.

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Sockmonkey
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Re: 300+ GB/s DDOS attack against Spamhaus: Largest Ever

Postby Sockmonkey » Sun May 05, 2013 4:39 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:They can go after anyone committing a crime, just that you can't sue the business for the actions of an employee unless it was part of a 'normal course of business'.

For example, if a Domino's delivery driver got out of his car to cap a punk-ass bitch, you couldn't sue Domino's. But if the driver sped through a red light to make sure you got your pizza in time and hit someone, you can sue.

Yeah that's what I'm getting at. Coming down on them might at least slow it down since few employees are willing to go to jail for the company.


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