When a block of IP addresses or a collection of domain names becomes associated with bad action -- spamming, jabbering, denial-of-servicing -- various ad-hoc Internet groups will add it to a blacklist of "rogue IPs" or "badware domains" that are blocked at a very low level in the network.
The problem is that there doesn't seem to be any way to readily diffuse an "all clear" signal to everyone who follows along with this block, which means that gradually, the net is acquiring "slums" -- blocks of useful space that can't be occupied by legitimate users because someone bad once lived there and now no one will accept their traffic.
The Washington Post's Security Fix visits this question -- it's a compelling problem when you think of it. Bad actors will continue to move from blocked IPs to fresh ones, and if we never release the blocked sections, eventually we'll have shut down a very large chunk of IP space indeed.
"The problem is once an address block gets so polluted and absorbed into all these blocklists, it's difficult to get off all of them because there is no central blocking authority," said Paul Ferguson, an advanced threat researcher at Trend Micro. "That space won't be toxic for all time to come, but certainly it is going to be tainted for whoever ends up with it..."
A year later: A look back at McColo
"What you'll find is some blacklists out there are derivatives of other lists, and it's hard to get those cleaned up," Bertier said, recalling a case last year in which a customer was given a swath of Internet addresses, only to find it was impossible to send e-mail from that space. "Typically in those cases, we'll work with the customers to get them new space and mark that allocation as something that really shouldn't be used for e-mail."
Way back in 2011, major American automakers were slow to realize that “companies in Silicon Valley have for some time been looking at cars just like another mobile device or app.” When the disruption, hit, it hit hard, writes Nick Bilton:
This is NASA’s new “space fabric” in development at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Founded in 1970 as Xerox’s R&D division, PARC was a dream factory that brought the world laser printing, Ethernet, the graphical user interface that led to Windows and the Macintosh, ubiquitous computing, and many other technologies that we now take for granted. Why made the place so damn special? Alan Kay, who pioneered networked computing […]
Bamboo has lots of uses beyond just being panda food. Things like bikes, roads, scaffolding, and musical instruments are made from the fast-growing grass. But unless you are participating in a tropical-themed LARP, you probably wouldn’t want a shirt made from bamboo stalks. So why do bamboo bed sheets make any sense? Because yarn extracted from […]
If you want to work in tech, but don’t have any desire to code web apps to help businesses sell things to other business, you might want to consider a career in cybersecurity. Judging from the apparent complete infiltration of Russian hackers in American cyberspace, it seems fair to speculate that there’s a major shortage of […]
All moms are different. But all moms like getting flowers on Mother’s Day, and that’s a fact (not, however a fact we can document in any fashion.) Instead of getting chewed out for forgetting to call her on the second Sunday of May, you can take care of it ahead of time with Teleflora’s flower […]