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An enhanced tool to script distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks called Mstream is currently in development and may soon yield a utility capable of launching crippling assaults through far fewer infected clients than were used to disable sites and steal headlines back in February, University of Washington researcher David Dittrich has discovered. A detailed report of his findings has been posted by Packet Storm. According to the report, Mstream was discovered recently in a still-crude, buggy condition. "An Mstream agent was discovered in late April 2000 on a compromised Linux system at a major university. This system was identified to be flooding packets using forged source addresses, targeted at over a dozen IP addresses," Dittrich says. Buggy or not, Mstream apparently yields a lot of bang for the buck compared with current tools such as shaft, trin00, TFN and Stacheldraht. "An extremely small number of attack packets" were being launched. "The traffic did, however, cause the router (which served 18 subnets) to become non-responsive," the report notes. "This means that sites that do egress filtering may still suffer from these attacks themselves, even if the intended 'victim' receives fewer packets than the attacker(s) intended," the report says. As for defences, there appear not to be any at the moment, except for virus detection which is unlikely to be effective until the final code is hacked out. "The lesson here is that there is no 'quick fix' to DDoS in the form of simple technical filtering solutions," Dittrich notes. The chief security solution in effect thus far seems to be the wholesale squandering of immense international law enforcement resources in hopes of netting one or two teen-aged script kiddies. Apparently this has not been quite as effective as originally hoped. ® Related Coverage Canadian Feds charge Mafiaboy in DDoS attacks TFN author 'Mixter' sentenced FBI Web site hacked Feds charge Coolio while DDoS attackers remain at large Hacking credit cards is preposterously easy Congressional study rejects Clinton's IT security Czar, FIDNET The Mother of all DDoS attacks looms Hacking hysteria invigorates insurance industry Law enforcers the 'absolute worst people' for Net security - former Fed Janet Reno proposes on-line police squad Dot-Com firms are hacking each other -- expert Reno, FBI feast on bad network security New hack attack is greater threat than imagined

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