[e2e] About the primitives and their value
pekka.nikander at nomadiclab.com
Wed Aug 9 08:33:16 PDT 2006
>>> Receivers are inherently passive. To do otherwise makes them
>>> subject to sender rules. To plug their inputs renders them deaf,
>> However, put the first bridge or router there, and you have to
>> make the
>> choice of making the box fully transparent or _not_. You can make
>> box a "firewall", allowing the "receiver" instruct the box of what
>> information it wants to receive, by default, and what not. Hence,
>> you give up your fully-open network abstraction, stating that
>> are inherently passive" becomes a mere tautology.
> If you deploy a firewall, how does it know who to let in? It has to
> the messages it receives. You have moved the triage problem to the
> firewall, and redefined the receiver to be it.
> Now show us a place to publish that is NOT open to all incoming pub/
> messages. ;-)
> Again, all this does is move the problem - and the opportunity for
Sure, I completely agree.
The trick is to move the problem as close to the potential attacker
If we make the first active box owned by somebody else but the
potential attacker the first "firewall", we have pretty much
contained the problem, including most of the zombies.
The problem lies in how to distribute the "firewall information"
within the network so that the firewall closest to the attack source
can and will both intelligently enough filter out all or at least
most of the unwanted traffic and pass all wanted traffic. That
problem, in turn, is not only a technical problem. It is technically
quite feasible to build a scalable pub/sub architecture, even to
Internet sizes. The real problem lies in the incentives: how do we
motivate the "firewall" next to the potential attacker to take the
burden of filtering out all traffic that does not have a known
willing receiver. That requires quite a lot of effort from the
firewall side, in order to establish the needed state. It is far
easier just to pass everything, as long as it doesn't fill the next
So, at least from my point of view, the really hard problem is to
device the new "routing" infrastructure protocols in such a way that
the ISPs benefit from collaboratively knowing which traffic is wanted
(by someone) and which is not. Furthermore, such controlling
capability must be balanced with the desired openness; i.e., we must
not unnecessarily shift any controlling power to the networking
elements and we must create incentive for them to still passing all
wanted traffic without discriminating some wanted traffic against other.
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