Archive for May, 2013

network mapping and measurement conference

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 by kc

I had the honor of presenting an overview of CAIDA’s recent research activities at the Network Mapping and Measurement Conference hosted by Sean Warnick and Daniel Zappala. Talks topics included: social learning behavior in complex networks, re-routing based on expected network outages along current paths, twitter data mining to analyze suicide risk factors and political sentiments (three different talks). James Allen Evans gave a sociology of science talk, an interview form of which seems to be achived by the Oxford Internet Institute. The organizers even arranged a talk from a local startup, NUVI, doing some fascinating real-time visualization and analytics of social network data (including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Youtube).

The workshop was held at Sundance, Utah, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been for a workshop. This workshop series was originally DoD-sponsored with lots of government attendees interested in Internet infrastructure protection, but sequester and travel freezes this year yielded only two USG attendees, and budget constraints may keep this workshop from happening again next year. I hope not, it was really a unique environment and exposed me to a range of work I would not otherwise have discovered anytime soon. Kudos to the organizers and sponsors.

Carna botnet scans confirmed

Monday, May 13th, 2013 by Alistair King

On March 17, 2013, the authors of an anonymous email to the “Full Disclosure” mailing list announced that last year they conducted a full probing of the entire IPv4 Internet. They claimed they used a botnet (named “carna” botnet) created by infecting machines vulnerable due to use of default login/password pairs (e.g., admin/admin). The botnet instructed each of these machines to execute a portion of the scan and then transfer the results to a central server. The authors also published a detailed description of how they operated, along with 9TB of raw logs of the scanning activity.

Online magazines and newspapers reported the news, which triggered some debate in the research community about the ethical implications of using such data for research purposes. A more fundamental question received less attention: since the authors went out of their way to remain anonymous, and the only data available about this event is the data they provide, how do we know this scan actually happened? If it did, how do we know that the resulting data is correct?