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[liberationtech] SECDEV: The internet in Syria: down, but not out

John Adams jna at retina.net
Wed May 8 21:48:14 PDT 2013


>
> However, according to SecDev cyber analysts, a damaged cable alone should
> not have caused the Border Gateway Protocols (BGP) routes for netblocks to
> be withdrawn. Rather, the fact that these routes disappeared suggests that
> the regime ordered the disconnect for reasons that are unknown. Analysts
> have previously speculated that internet shutdowns have been used to
> prevent communications amongst rebel groups. Alternatively, the shutdown
> could have been used to install new monitoring equipment.


It's nearly comical how "cyber activists" don't know how routing works.

In BGP, when a link goes away, the route is withdrawn. That's how it works.

If there was a fiber cut, intentional or unintentional, the route to the AS
that contained the netblock becomes unavailable and peers for that AS
switch to secondary routes, if they exist.  If the failed link was the sole
uplink (or uplinks) to the AS in which the netblocks in question resided
in, then the route is withdrawn because there are no peers capable of
routing to the AS.

This would be an entirely different story if they'd replaced "withdrawn"
with "null routed', because that indicates an administrative change to the
routing policy.

Alternatively, the shutdown could have been used to install new monitoring
> equipment.


Citation needed. If you wanted to monitor an active, high bandwidth
connection, you would not have to disconnect the network for a sustained
amount of time. Ever hear of a span port or an optical splitter? Entering
the network and copying all traffic to another port is a seamless
operation.


I know there's problems in Syria and I know that their government
disconnects the network, but get the facts straight.

-j
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