Show of 2-11-2007

  • Internets Root Servers Attacked
    • Internet users barely felt a ripple yesterday when hackers launched a concerted attack on several key Domain Name System (DNS) servers.
    • Experts say legions of everyday users were enlisted in the attack on 13 root DNS servers, which translate a site’s numeric address to more familiar names, like internetnews.com.
    • For a couple of hours, beginning late Monday and stretching into Tuesday, three of the 13 DNS servers came under fire, as hackers tried to overload the computers sitting at the top of the Internet’s chain of distribution. Users felt "maybe a fraction of a second delay," Johannes Ulrich, CTO of SANS Internet Storm Center
    • DNS servers run by the U.S. Department of Defense, the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and UltraNet, which manages the .org domain, were affected by the attack.
    • The barrage of data being apparently targeted at the DNS system started around 2.30 a.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday. Multiple root servers saw a traffic spike, but the "G" server, run by the U.S. Department of Defense, and "L," run by ICANN, seem to have gotten the brunt of it.
    • Although it may be days before investigators learn details of the attack, early reports point to China or Asia as the source.
    • Unlike a similar attack in 2002 that crippled nine of 13 DNS servers, the latest assault used many more zombie hosts Servers are more flexible now, and able to withstand much more strain.
    • Unfortunately for the perpetrators, their efforts went largely unnoticed. In fact, at Verizon, which operates metropolitan area networks including MAE East and MAE West, was unaffected.
    • MAE-East is an Internet Exchange Point spread across the east coast of the United States, with locations in Vienna, Virginia; Reston, Virginia; Ashburn, Virginia; New York, New York; and Miami, Florida.
    • Mischief — not money — was the reason for the attack.
  • DNS Attack Was A Distributed Denial of Service Attack
    • Security vulnerabilities are used to penetrate a system (or port number)
    • Port assignments made by Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (www.iana.org)
    • Program scans IP address and ports for other vulnerable systems and infects other systems. This behavior is defined as a “worm.”
    • As soon as a system is infected it report back to “home” usually an IRC address (hidden account)
    • A networks of bots or zombies is called a “botnet”
    • The largest ever cracked was in Denmark with 1.5 million zombies under it control.
    • Primarily used for spam or distributed denial of service attacks.
  • My eBay Account Problems — Update
    • My user account was suspended from eBay
    • Discovered someone else had set up an account with my name and had either purchased or sold something without follow through.
    • Finally, they accepted that did nothing wrong and my account has been re-activated.
  • Job Growth in Northern Virginia Astonishing
    • An ‘‘astonishing” growth of private-sector, white-collar jobs in Fairfax County, Va., since 1990, revealed in a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report this week, took many by surprise.
    • From 1990 to 2005, as many jobs shifted from the federal government to the private sector, Fairfax accounted for 45.4 percent of 229,000 new professional and business services jobs among 22 county and city jurisdictions in the Washington, D.C., area.
    • The county also showed a 48.4 percent increase in total jobs.
    • Fairfax has been much more aggressive in attracting tech companies, such as General Dynamics, Eli Lilly, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
    • Virginia is viewed as “business friendly” as compared to Maryland. Look at the WalMart health care legislation and minimum wage legislation.
    • Maryland is disturbed by this report to say the least. Maryland does have an advantage in biotech because its close proximity to NIH.
    • He also pointed to other factors favoring Northern Virginia: Virginia has a more attractive tax structure than Maryland and has benefited from its location between the District and Dulles International Airport, one of the fastest growing airports in the country.
    • Greatest Need: Project Management combined with Technology