Feeds

Last month's root-server attack revisited

Net safe thanks to technology called Anycast

Security for virtualized datacentres

Last month's attack on at least six of the net's root servers was formidable, but thanks to the implementation of a technology designed to protect the infrastructure, only two were affected, according to a factsheet issued today by ICANN.

The DDoS attack flooded the servers with a stunning amount of data, as much as 1 Gbps at points, according to the oversight group. But damage was relatively contained thanks to new load-balancing technology called Anycast, which was installed on all the servers that came under fire, except for the two that sustained damage.

"Anycast allows a number of servers in different places to act as if they are in the same place," according to the document. "So while there remains 13 locations on the network for root serves, the reality on the ground is that not only are there often dozens at one spot but dozens of servers in other locations that can also deal with requests."

That allows the servers - which translate domain names such as theregister.com into IP numbers such as 72.3.246.59 - to distribute large volumes of data evenly among many machines (a many-hands-make-light-work approach, if you will). Anycast also safeguards against damage that could be caused by natural disasters by geographically dispersing servers.

The attack was, in fact, two forays, one that started at 4AM California time on Feb. 6 and lasted for two-and-a-half hours, and the other, a five-hour assault that started several hours after the first one stopped. That torrent of packets originated from hundreds of zombies, so it's impossible to know where in the world the attackers were located. Educated guesses lead engineers to believe they came from the Asia Pacific, possibly in Korea.

Of the two servers that sustained damage, one was the g-root, which is operated by US Department of Defense and is physically located in Ohio, and the other was the l-root, run by ICANN and based in California. ICANN attributed the damage they sustained to the absence of Anycast.

In addition to those two root servers, three others also are not using the technology. Engineers have held off installing it universally because some worried there could be risks associated with making different servers appear to be coming from the same place. "And so just a few root servers tried the system first, tested it thoroughly and ironed out any bugs before the next set moved over," the report explained. (Note: In previous versions of this story, we misread the report to say the delay was based on root servers using different OSes. This is not the case.)

After last month's episode, it's likely the remaining servers - which in addition to roots G and L also include roots D, E and H - will adopt the technology soon. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
Shades of Mannesmann: Vodafone should buy T-Mobile US
Biting the bullet would let Blighty-based biz flip the bird at AT&T
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.