[e2e] What if there were no well known numbers?

John Kristoff jtk at northwestern.edu
Wed Aug 2 15:17:05 PDT 2006

Could the removal of well known numbers actually be a rousing change
more fundamental to the Internet architecture than anything we've seen
before, even more so than commercialization, Microsoft Windows
implementation nuances, NATs and multihoming.  Indulge me for a momment.

There is a Internet Draft that has as part of the file name
"no-more-well-known-ports".  The basic idea is that DNS SRV lookups
should be used to determine a unique port with which to get service
from the intended destination server.

In some ways this approach is appealing.  I thought it might be a
nice way to slow the tide of arbitrary protocol port filtering and
hamper common remote attacks against a particular well known service.

Looking ahead a bit howver, if this were widely implemented, what
other outcomes might we see given some time?  DNS would become
increasingly important of course.  Maybe even enough for a small
boom market within that sector.  I can envision companies selling
boxes that "mangle" or proxy SRV responses in the name of some
defined site policy.

In short, couldn't this, wouldn't this, lead to a rapid rise in DNS-
based walled gardens (or if you prefer the quick and steady rise of
a fractured root, eventual modus operandi) as everyone moves to
replace their udp/tcp packet manglers with RR-scrubbers?

Am I way off here?


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