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[liberationtech] query

Adam Fisk a at littleshoot.org
Mon Dec 6 01:01:33 PST 2010


I'm a bit confused by your comment, Danny. I completely agree there
are other attacks worth thinking about, but we're currently talking
about DDOS right? I think we have to keep these various attack vectors
separate if we want to offer solutions. There are certainly issues
with DNS, and I honestly am not particularly familiar with DDOSing
DNS, but it's an issue regardless of whether or not you're hosted on
the cloud.

Your point about the public quotas on GAE makes sense if you don't
sign up for billing. There's no limit I know of to your maximum daily
budget though. Sure, you pay some money, but it's far cheaper than
setting up your own capacity to deal with a big attack. The daily
limit you choose also isn't public, and you don't pay anything in the
much more common case where you never come near the free limits. I'm
curious to know what other GAE-specific attacks you could imagine. The
thing about Google is they can withstand a lot -- I can't imagine
needing another provider, but I'm happy to be proved wrong.

The issue with attackers moving on to other strategies is also a best
case scenario isn't it? They move on to other strategies when one
strategy is thwarted. Isn't the the whole goal?

-Adam


>
> I know what you mean, but I'd challenge the idea that the dangers of cloud provision and domain name attacks aren't a concern to these groups.
>
> Organizations who suffer from DOS suffer from it because it's the cheapest most effective way to silence a voice online, given certain opposing groups' technical skills and access to resources. As soon as you mitigate away the risk of a DOS, a new cheapest most effective way rises to the top of the list, and that's where the new attack will be aimed.
>
> I'm not sure where you get your 99% figure from, but my experience is that a DOS-proof host doesn't sit around long before the attackers start looking for other low-cost possible attacks, which include (but isn't limited to) weaknesses in domain and cloud management. It makes sense to understand what those are. For instance, without getting into a cloud religious war, shifting to GAE means that the limits and quotas on your website's resources are public, which means that attackers have a clear target to aim for in order to trigger a shutdown. If I build my NGO's web presence on GAE, and we go over that quota, there isn't a wider field of Google App Engine providers other than Google that I can bounce to.
>
> Similarly, while Wikileaks is an outlier in some ways, the idea of moving a DOS from the host to the DNS provider, as we've seen happen to WL in the last day, is something that will work well against a wide range of arrangements. It's something we should attempt to anticipate when giving advice.
>
> Are your attackers just script kiddies who would be stymied by a move to a cloud provider? Well, maybe, but we can only determine that by talking about the characteristics of the attacker not the last attack. Reacting to DOS attacks by just saying, oh move to GAE or Livejournal or Amazon S3, risks reactively solving the last problem without anticipating what the new one might be. Most importantly, we don't want to put groups into a situation where they throw a lot of time or money into a "anti-DOS" solution that only buys them a little more time because the attackers can switch their attack strategy with far less bother.
>
> d.
>
>
>> -Adam
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 3:25 PM,  <liberationtech at lewman.us> wrote:
>>> On Thu, Dec 02, 2010 at 10:29:21AM -0800, chris at eff.org wrote 2.4K bytes in 53 lines about:
>>> : Well, recall that my advice hinged on the assumption that the cloud
>>> : provider was not your threat actor. Maybe that's not looking like too
>>>
>>> Going one level higher in the nested stack of things to worry about:
>>> your top level domain being taken away.
>>>
>>> As the USA (ICE take down of some .com domains) and Libya (take down of
>>> bit.ly) have recently reminded us, your domain name may not be safe
>>> either.
>>>
>>> --
>>> Andrew
>>> pgp key: 0x74ED336B
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>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Adam Fisk
>> http://www.littleshoot.org | http://adamfisk.wordpress.com |
>> http://twitter.com/adamfisk
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>
>



-- 
Adam Fisk
http://www.littleshoot.org | http://adamfisk.wordpress.com |
http://twitter.com/adamfisk



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