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Internet Junk Traffic Used to Uncover Censorship

They believe that garbage traffic generated by malware and malicious scanning activities, commonly described as Internet background radiation (IBR), could be a valuable tool and early warning indicator when parts of the Internet are not reachable.

As part of their research, the approach not only provides insight of plain outages, but also the causes and possible geopolitical strategies. For example, the researchers at UCSD found that Gaddafi government of Libya may have tested a firewall "to conduct higher precision host-based blocking while they were executing the coarser approach of router-based disconnection." The measurements were possible via UCSD's network telescope, which operates similar to what one would consider a garbage collector of network traffic on the Internet.

So far, the technology is not advanced enough to come up with an early warning system for natural disasters, the researchers said, but they have been experimenting with metrics that may lead them to that goal. For example, they focused on a significant shift of the number of IP addresses that reach the monitoring receiver. Their initial IBR traffic research showed that Japan's devastating Tohoku earthquake "had much higher impact on network infrastructure than the Christchurch earthquake [in New Zealand]." The observation allowed them to determine the geographic extent of the disasters, likely damage, and approximate restoration times.

  • confish21
    cool
    Reply
  • jonology
    I lost internet for ages from the Christchurch earthquake, slow tech news updates for 3 weeks lol
    Reply
  • john_4
    Want censorship just go to any site that has a comment section and see what all the sites do to comments they do not like. That includes the tools at Tom's.
    Reply
  • c_for
    "So far, the technology is not advanced enough to come up with an early warning system for natural disasters"

    If this system is designed to detect internet outages, how could it predict future natural disasters? It's cause and effect, and you can't read the effect before it's been caused.
    Reply
  • memadmax
    john_4 smokes great doobie...
    Reply
  • tokencode
    Why would you want to utilize garbage traffic from malware and spyware to determine this? The last thing I want to see is legitmate uses for bad/dangerous traffic and software.

    "No botnets reporting in from New Zealand, there must be something wrong." This seems like a bad way of determining there was an event and really tells me we have too big of a malware issue. Using malware essentially as the heartbeat of the Internet sends the wrong message about malware and basing a warning system on things people do not want and actively work to remove seems likea not so smart idea..... It's like determining the human population in an area based on the number of cockroaches.
    Reply
  • drwho1
    Researches.... or better yet, SERIOUS Researches, should find a way to clean the internet from malware, spyware, viruses and all related junk.

    Reply
  • dealcorn
    I do not see why it is hard to "clean the Internet of malware, spyware, viruses and all related junk." After all, Orwell laid out the strategic overview in 1984.
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    drwho1Researches.... or better yet, SERIOUS Researches, should find a way to clean the internet from malware, spyware, viruses and all related junk.
    Easier said than done. Why not turn the lemons into lemonades?
    Reply
  • cookoy
    Right, if not enough IBR is reaching you, there may have a problem. We all need our daily dose of internet junk traffic and if you're not getting your normal dose, your antivirus or antimalware software may be too good for you.
    Reply