Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

ISPs join to 'fingerprint' Internet attacks

Filed under
Security
Web

Leading global telecommunications companies, Internet service providers and network operators will begin sharing information on Internet attacks as members of a new group called the Fingerprint Sharing Alliance, according to a published statement from the new group.

The companies, including EarthLink Inc., Asia Netcom, British Telecommunications PLC and MCI Inc., will share detailed profile information on attacks launched against their networks. Information to be shared will include the sources of attacks. The alliance will make it easier for service providers and network operators to crack down on global Internet attacks more quickly, according to Tom Schuster, president of Lexington, Mass.-based Arbor Networks Inc., which launched the new alliance.

The Fingerprint Sharing Alliance uses technology from Arbor called Peakflow to spot network attacks and automatically generate a profile, or "fingerprint," of the attack in a standard data file format called PCAP. That fingerprint information is passed along to other service providers closer to the source of the attack, which can then block the source of the traffic, Schuster said.

Arbor wrapped features that support the Fingerprint Sharing Alliance into the last release of Peakflow, which came out earlier this year. Alliance members have been using Peakflow to share attack fingerprints since then, Schuster said.

The alliance replaces an ad hoc system of e-mail messages and phone calls that operators of large networks have used to coordinate their response to attacks and threats, Arbor said. Because communication has been cumbersome, ISPs and network owners have had no incentive to share attack information.

The alliance will make it easier for them to cooperate and will lower the threshold that attacks must surpass to get the attention of ISPs. Even attacks on small ISP customers will prompt a response from large infrastructure providers. Peakflow also scrubs the data in fingerprints so alliance members can't use them to sniff sensitive information on competitors, according to Schuster.

"People are realizing that the world is a connected place. We have to empower service providers at the point of origin to have zero tolerance," he said.

Cracking down on those behind even small attacks may also improve the overall health of the Internet and quell raging problems such as "botnets" of zombie computers that are used in large-scale attacks, according to Schuster.

Membership in the alliance is not limited to Arbor customers or Peakflow users. Network owners that are not Arbor customers can generate their own fingerprints and accept PCAP-format fingerprints generated by Alliance members. However, Arbor's technology "speeds up the process considerably" by automatically creating and distributing the fingerprints.

All current members of the alliance are Peakflow customers, and the company's roster of global ISPs gives the program bite, Schuster said.

The alliance is a first step in addressing the problem of Internet attacks. Arbor hopes that the participation of leading service providers will compel competitors, as well as smaller network owners, to take part as well.

By Paul Roberts, IDG News Service.

More in Tux Machines

Red Hat News

Fedora: The Latest

  • Korora 22 Flash Update
    As we announced when Korora 22 was released, Adobe Flash is no longer included by default.
  • Fedora repository for Doom stuff: Zandronum, Doomseeker, CnDoom
    I had a bit of free time over the last few days, and looked at the current state of the art for Doom on Linux. The awesome Rahul Sundaram has been looking after several Doom-related packages for a while – including the Chocolate Doom package – but there are some things that seem to be commonly used these days that we didn’t have packaged. So I packaged them up, and put them in a new repository!
  • CUDA 7.0 enabled programs for Fedora 22
    I’ve udpated the CUDA version in the Fedora 22 Nvidia repository, it now contains CUDA 7.0.28 along with the cuFFT 7.0.35 patch. Note that from this version, CUDA is x86_64 bit compatible only, so there are no more i386 packages. There is still the cudart library available for 32 bit, but I don’t think it’s worth packaging.
  • Secure Boot — Fedora, RHEL, and Shim Upstream Maintenance: Government Involvement or Lack Thereof
    Note that there are parts of this chain I’m not a part of, and obviously linux distributions I’m not involved in that support Secure Boot. I encourage other maintainers to offer similar statements for their respective involvement.
  • Remi repository is changing
    The "remi" repository exists for > 10 years, it have changed a lot, and some recent changes worth to be explained.

Android Leftovers

Leftovers: OSS