[e2e] About the primitives and their value

Joe Touch touch at ISI.EDU
Tue Aug 15 07:57:47 PDT 2006

Pekka Nikander wrote:
>>> I'm afraid you may be underestimating the value relocating a problem
>>> might have.
>> Simply shuffling the unsolicited requests around doesn't reduce the
>> number of them.
> I read this as you failing to understand or failing to want to
> understand my point, for a reason or another.  If I am mistaken, my
> apologies.
> Technically, you are right, of course.  Changing primitives doesn't
> remove any traffic that someone sends.
> What I am trying to say is that moving around the problem or changing
> the technical primitives may change the situation so that some people do
> not want to bad send traffic any more, due to reduced potential benefit
> or increased risks.  Furthermore, I am also trying to say that if enough
> of people change their mind in this way, the large-scale behaviour as
> observed may change drastically.

The key is what the problem is:
	1- shedding unsolicited load per se
	2- shedding load at underpowered places
	3- reducing the incentive to attack

Addressing 1 also addresses 2 and 3.

Addressing 2 does not address either 1 or 3. Attackers may still want to
take down Akamai, Google, or Microsoft (and have), even though they're

IMO, we have to live with unsolicited load everywhere; the key question
is how to incrementally invest in establishing mutual communication in a
way that doesn't create a DOS opportunity. Doing that means attackers
must invest more - as much as a legitimate endpoint - to accomplish an
attack. That presents its own disincentive, plus the longer, more
detailed exchange presents opportunity for tracing.


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