Imagine a day the internet stood still. A day when a cyber-weapon, equivalent to a nuclear bomb in the real world, detonated. Spooky, right? No e-mail, no Facebook, no Twitter updates. Ok, I’ll stop. Spooking myself a little bit.
Recently, a student at the Universtiy of Minnesota, Max Schuchard, discovered a method that could theoretically take down the entire internet. If someone used this cyberattack method, it would suck, of course, because you wouldn’t be able to read this blog. An unfair loss.
So, how does this attack work exactly? It’s actually fairly simple.
The internet is just an interlinked network of big routers (called autonomous systems) that sends data from your personal network to your desired network’s servers (like google.com or bing.com). But what if the interlinked network of really big routers didn’t route your data to your desired server? What if someone identified all the autonomous systems that make up the internet, and then DDOS attacked them, traffic-jamming them with too many requests… to a point where they all fell to their little router knees.
Well, that’s a brief summary of the cyberweapon that Schuchard has successfully shut down a simulation of the internet with.
So, how would you execute this attack, exactly? (by the way, I’m publishing this so that someone fixes this vulnerability. I like my internet.)
1)First, you traceroute the connection between your network and a random server. I chose Tencent because it’s the most popular instant messaging service in Asia.
2)Then, you identify a router between your network and the server.
3) Then, you DDOS attack that IP address with a botnet of at least 250,000 computers, sending more than 100 requests per second each.
4) Once the router is clogged up with traffic and inactive, the BGP protocol, which all the autonomous systems use, will redirect internet traffic to a different router. Identify that router by doing another traceroute, and then DDOS attack the new router.
5) Continue doing this until all routers on the net have been shut down.
6) No more internet. Accessing the net will be like trying to swim without water.