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Big debate over small packets Print E-mail
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Source: SecurityFocus - Posted by Pax Dickinson   
Network Security Fernando Gont is nothing if not tenacious. Earlier this year, the Argentinian researcher highlighted several attacks that could disrupt network connections using the Internet control message protocol, or ICMP, and proposed four changes to the structure and handling of network-data packets that would essentially eliminate the risk.

However, rather than open up a discussion on the flaws and their fixes, Gont's disclosure marked the start of a months-long debate over whether the vulnerabilities--the general details of which have been known for some time--are serious enough to require fixing. While many researchers have lauded his research, others in the security community have criticized the work on public mailing lists. The few companies that Gont has contacted have not generally cooperated, and very few makers of operating systems and network software have implemented his fixes.

Yet, the researcher is at it again. This week, Gont updated his proposal to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the body that handles technical standards for the Internet, to add more information sought by some researchers.

"Some people say 'this is old stuff,'" said Gont, currently on staff at the Universidad Tecnologica Nacional (National University of Technology) in Argentina. "But they miss a very important point: While these attacks have been known to many people for many years, there have never been proposals on how to deal with them."

Read this full article at SecurityFocus

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