OT ? - Internet Backbone Hacked!

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Just got off of the phone with the Internet Technician from my ISP.

Problem: Since about 1am local time last night, my download speeds have been steadily dropping. By 1pm this afternoon, access speed was down to 12 bytes/sec. Even accessing local web-sites. Called tech support to find out what was going on.

Revelation: The tech informed me that one of AT&T's main internet computers had been hacked and the several hundred gigabyte of irrelevant data had been put into circulation onto the net back-bone with addressing to dump this mass data stream into every ISP that AT&T had direct connections with, contracts to provide back-bone access. Embedded in this data was also a command sequence to redirect same multi-gig data stream back out to all other ISP's with whom they had connections as well.

I was informed that the point of this hacking was to disable the internet. AT&T apparently has identified the culprit(s) involved and the FBI has served arrest warrants in this case. But the data stream is still working its way through the system.

ISP has informed me that a mass e-mail will be distributed to all customers by no later than tomorrow with details.

I will post a copy here on the forum as soon as I receive it.

Until they get this sorted out, I will hope and pray that y'all can keep connected.

-- hiding in plain (sight@edge. of no-where), December 03, 1999


Thanks for the heads up, hiding! Had weird problems staying connected this morning -- disconnect every 60 seconds, would hang the computer, had to restart to try again. Very low connection speeds, now back up to 49,333 and holding, fortunately. No matter what causes them, computer problems are very frustrating.

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), December 03, 1999.

I've noticed some pretty interesting problems too with pages taking forever to load and connections being lost or degraded...interesting times.



-- Michael Taylor (mtdesign3@aol.com), December 03, 1999.

AT&T provides service to our relatives in WY. They've been suffering screw-ups for the past couple of months up there.

Got cans and string?

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), December 03, 1999.

I REALLY doubt this. If true it WILL make the news. It won't because its not true.

I know most people here are not very well versed in internet connectivity and the complexities related to it, but the idea of dumping all this "irrelevant" data in this complex way is bogus.

And the speed at which you connect to your ISP has nothing to do with network contention on the internet.

-- hamster (hamster@mycage.com), December 03, 1999.

Houston just jumped from 9 to 60! New York is still at 0, but North America is screamin' at 60!!!

http://www.internettrafficreport.com/cgi-bin/tr_chartpage.pl? NorthAmerica

-- Hokie (nn@va.com), December 03, 1999.

Hhhhmmm, lookkee here, the iMac Tech Forum, lotsa people having problems.

iMac Discussion Forum - Tech Exchange

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), December 03, 1999.

Interesting. There's not really enough here to infer much. If the FBI truly arrested someone for hacking into AT&T, I'm sure they wouldn't miss the opportunity for some positive PR.

What do the rest of you Internet techies say here? I'm trying to imagine a hack that results in the symptoms described here. Perhaps if someone hacked into a major AT&T router and gave themselves themselves the access required to issue malicious BGP4 commands, then this sort of situation result? But the source of the problem would be easily detectable by any admin with a sniffer and bandwidth utilization monitoring tools (SNMP polling of router stats and interfaces).

I would be very curious to know the technical details if this turns out to be true. Even so, it sounds more like a prank. It would also be interesting to know how many networks/customers were affected.

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), December 04, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ