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DDoS And The Internet's Liability Problem
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Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Ninja
11/18/2015 | 4:25:04 PM
Make it so
I agree. So what needs to happen to make this work?
PaulV378
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PaulV378,
User Rank: Strategist
11/19/2015 | 4:51:08 AM
Re: Make it so
my plan of the moment is to draft some proposed amendments to the computer fraud and abuse act (CFAA) and then go to DC and try to interest the US congress in this simple solution to the very vexing problem.
victorhotel
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victorhotel,
User Rank: Strategist
11/19/2015 | 2:17:13 PM
Re: Make it so
A good proposal, but will it fly?

Liability for insecure software has been proposed for well over decade, by Schneier and a host of others.  Nothing to show for it even though the law should be easy to formulate, as there is a direct contractual relationship between the victim (buyer of software) and the software vendor.  Of course, we do have liability written into individual contracts between corporate buyers and vendors.

Liability for DDoS is more difficult, as the victim is not the buyer of the defective product.  Then again, precedence does exist in tort law - if a car malfunctions and injures a pedestrian, the victim may have grounds to sue the car manufacturer.

Rather than lobbying Congress, your time may be better spent lobbying telecom regulators. They could fix the problem, partially, by mandating secure networks and servers in at least telecom providers and ISPs.  To be effective, the regulators would need to audit the providers.  (Do we need another PCI-DSS type audit scheme?)

How we fix the insecure IoT from being a party to DDoS I don't know.  Consumers don't care unless privacy or finances are at stake, so the politicians will certainly not care.
UldisS421
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UldisS421,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/22/2015 | 2:00:23 PM
Re: Make it so
Liability for insecure software would make it hard for open source. Not because someone might try suing, they cant do that. But because of people getting afraid of liabilities on them, not the software creators, thus making them choose propriatary software just to stay safe themselves.

Another aspect. Getting liabilities on the senders would mean sending legal notices etc. to thousands of them, many in faraway lands with lots of legal problems, like "it is not illegal in my country" to "we dont care" and just stretching the time.

So, I dont know if this idea would work in real life as it sounds in theory. Still many obstacles.
Dr.T
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50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
11/25/2015 | 11:22:17 AM
Re: Make it so
Unless there is a way somebody seizes the moment and make money of it, it will work but I do not know who that would be.
Dr.T
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50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
11/25/2015 | 11:13:58 AM
Re: Make it so
I agree, also public is not aware of this situation, unless there is public support nobody will move or touch anything.
Dr.T
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50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
11/25/2015 | 11:11:11 AM
Re: Make it so
Anything involving government these days obviously not working, you never know tough. :--)).
wcbonner
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wcbonner,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/19/2015 | 3:37:40 PM
DDoS Botnets
A growing trend in DDoS botnets is to use commercial cloud services and fresh, dedicated machines. Stolen credit card information is used to purchase the compute resources, and thousands of machines can be started up and dedicated to an attack before the fruadulent use has been detected.

This doesn't rely on existing weaknesses in open protocols, and new legislation is not going to fix things.

Wim.
PaulV378
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PaulV378,
User Rank: Strategist
11/21/2015 | 1:52:31 AM
Re: DDoS Botnets
those cloud providers are helping to create public hazards. the shift i'm looking for in liability will allow a ddos victim to recover damages from a cloud provider who sold the vm to a ddos-for-hire gang.


not everything that can be done, should be done. it's time everybody creating software or networks for the internet got that lesson taught to them.
Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
11/25/2015 | 11:16:56 AM
Re: DDoS Botnets
Agree, once you have the impact does not matter how it happened, this is like using target's resources to attack target itself. :--)).
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
11/26/2015 | 12:20:40 AM
Re: DDoS Botnets
DDoS attacks in and of themselves are made to be a bigger deal than they are -- outside of victims like retail and other major commercial websites (where those companies lose oodles of dollars for all the time that they are down).

The real solution here, in any case, is to follow the money.  Bust other forms of cybercrime, and you reduce DDoS and other cybercrime because most of it is related.  (Great source on this subject: Brian Krebs's Spam Nation)

Dr.T
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Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
11/25/2015 | 11:08:27 AM
DDoS without vulnerability
DDoS without vulnerability

Nice article, enjoyed reading it. There can be a real successful DDoS attach without ant vulnerability, that is what it is always successful form of attack. 
PaulV378
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50%
PaulV378,
User Rank: Strategist
11/25/2015 | 12:18:46 PM
Re: DDoS without vulnerability
<< There can be a real successful DDoS attach without ant vulnerability, that is what it is always successful form of attack. >>

if you take away botnets (which are created by exploiting vulnerabilities in devices and software), and poorly operated networks lacking source address validation (which allows spoofed-source packet emission, a vulnerability in the internet itself), and you take away poorly operated servers and services (which allow amplification and reflection, another vulnerability in the internet itself), then a successful ddos will have to come from some set of endpoints who use their real ip source addresses. those endpoints can be hired, due to poorly operated cloud service providers, who don't insist on verified identity, and due to poorly operated credit card and payment systems, which allow stolen credit cards to be used to hire online services.

so while vulnerability is not strictly required, demonstrably piss-poor operational practices are, and the same "your problem looked just fine leaving here!" attitude that underlays those irresponsible operational practices are the ones which permit device manufacturers to evade responsibility for the botnets their sloppy unpatchable software creates. those practices whether by operators or manufacturers should create liability which can be exploited in civil lawsuits by ddos victims, and which ought to drive insurance costs upward. we are the frog in the famous aphorism, and we are slowly boiling ourselves to death by not holding enablers accountable for the damage they do by proxy.

vixie
Joe Stanganelli
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50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
11/26/2015 | 12:18:47 AM
Unconvinced
Um, pardon me for saying so, but -- to extend your drive-by shooting analogy -- isn't this proposal like saying that the architect and construction workers who built a person's home should be held liable for damages pursuant to a drive-by shooting?

This all seems very huffy.  The reality of crime is that bad guys often get away with their behavior, and we have to live with this unfairness lest we create even more unfairness.
paulvixie
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paulvixie,
User Rank: Author
11/26/2015 | 1:54:33 AM
Re: Unconvinced
<< Um, pardon me for saying so, but -- to extend your drive-by shooting analogy -- isn't this proposal like saying that the architect and construction workers who built a person's home should be held liable for damages pursuant to a drive-by shooting? >>

your pardon is granted. as with spam before it, spoofed source ddos and irresponsibly open servers have brought out every possible form of apologist. i have heard "there is no problem" and "it is not my problem" literally hundreds of times now. i won't take it personally, and i hope you won't take it personally when i tell you that you're plain and simply and completely wrong.

argument by analogy is fraught with error. as in this case, choosing the wrong analogy leads to absurd results. closer to the situation at hand would be holding the builder and architect of a house responsible if the house catches fire and burns the whole neighborhood down because somebody rang the doorbell too hard.

<< This all seems very huffy.  The reality of crime is that bad guys often get away with their behavior, and we have to live with this unfairness lest we create even more unfairness. >>

you can live with whatever impositions you wish, but, you can't insist that i do the same. "the reality" as you call it is that in the real world, creating or operating a public nuisance is an actionable offense if someone is injured by it, and the internet has thus far yelled and screamed about "stifling innovation" whenever similar accountability and recourse has been proposed. well, i am not here to censor any content or demand that software creators be licensed or anything else that might stifle innovation.

rather, i'm saying that the collective nuisance cost of the internet's irresponsible device makers and server and network operators is now so high that even the most self deceiving apologist cannot successfully pretend that everything will be ok without giving the lawyers and insurance companies a more defined role.

vixie


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