If the threats issued by Anonymous are to be believed, then Internet users, globally, should be prepared for this Saturday, the 31st of March, for it is on this day that Anonymous plans to take down the Internet, confirms a Pastebin post. Anonymous have drawn up a rough plan of how they plan to carry out this task. They plan to attack the 13 root DNS servers of the Internet. While there are plenty of DNS servers, all hosted by ISPs and organizations, they all are interconnected and everything roots from these 13 primary DNS servers. Anonymous sounds confident, so much so that they have even listed down the servers they plan on attacking. DNS servers are responsible for resolving domain names to IP address. Without any DNS servers functioning properly, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to access web sites by names.
No Internet this weekend?
Anonymous has made it clear that they aren’t really taking down the Internet, but will be temporarily disabling it. All the hundreds and thousands of DNS that rely on these 13 root DNS servers have caching, so technically they should still be functional, but Anonymous says clearly that there’s a timeout period for this caching, after which those will be rendered useless as well. To carry out this attack of mammoth proportions, Anonymous has put together a software they’re calling the Reflective DNS Amplification DDoS tool, which is based on Antisec’s DHN DDoS tool. There are supposedly bug fixes made to the tool and it’s been optimized for performance.
There are major loopholes in the way services work and Anonymous feels that a major bug in the way DNS servers work will let them overload the servers by sending a small amount of information and requesting much more from the servers. The trick it appears is not to attack the 13 DNS servers directly, but to request that data from other vulnerable DNS servers on the web, which will indirectly bombard the root servers. The links for the tools and information on how to use them are made available freely. It’s hard to predict what will really happen - whether the authorities will rush to plug all the security holes by the weekend causing the attack to fail or if Anonymous will collect enough volunteers to really take down the DNS network or partially disable it. If they are successful in completly turning off the DNS network, this would be the largest and possibly the most damaging event on the Internet in its history.