Partial Transcript: Episode 46 (Internet Armageddon)

Virginia: Today we’re going to talk about DDOS’ing the Gibson.  Did I say that right?

Andrew: You’ve never seen “Hackers”?

Virginia: Yeah.  A long time ago.

Nick: Come on.  Everybody loves seeing Angelina Jolie.

Andrew: That’s the only reason Nick watches that movie.

Virginia: Isn’t Penn Jillette on there as the guard?

Nick: I don’t remember that.

Virginia: I’m pretty sure it’s him.

Nick: It’s the short guy with black hair.

Andrew: Virginia’s going to check IMDB.

Nick: Ok, so Spamhaus is getting DDos’d by Cyber Bunker.  I don’t know much about Spamhaus except that they run a blacklist, which people follow to block spam.

Mike: The way the blacklist works is that whenever an email server receives an email, it checks this blacklist to see if  the sender is on the list.

Virginia: Boom!  Penn was on Hackers!

Mike: If the person is on the list, then it won’t complete the send.

Nick: So, Spamhaus runs one of these lists.  Apparently they’re considered vigilantes of blacklists.  It’s really hard to get it off.  Cyber Bunker was put on the list, and they DDoS’d Spamhaus.  That’s what a 100% legitimate company would do, right?  Your only means of recourse is to DDoS them.

Andrew: Of course.  If you’re not actually sending spam, then why bother calling Cyber Bunker to check why you were put on the list?

Virginia: If you’re sending spam, I guess you really don’t care.

Nick: Cyber Bunker started DDoSing Spamhaus.  Then Spamhaus reached out to Cloudflare, a content delivery network.  Then Cyber Bunker started DDoSing Cloudflare.

Mike: Except that Cloudflare could take it.  So, they got pissed off and started DDoSing the root DNS servers.

Virginia: I guess I just don’t understand the implication of all of this.

Andrew: If you take down the root DNS servers, you basically take down the Internet.

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