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Your Tax dollars in ACTION! (causes mini-DDoS)
Written by Daniel   
Saturday, 06 October 2007 10:26

 "We have met the enemy and they are us!"

 (Pogo cartoon)

 DHS flunks e-mail administration 101, causes mini-DDoS
By Eric Bangeman | Published: October 05, 2007 - 11:22AM CT
ARS Technica
Most of us who have spent much time working for large companies have experienced inadvertent "reply all" e-mails. You know how it goes: company-wide e-mail goes out and someone hits "reply all." If you're particularly unlucky, it will set off a barrage of messages chiding the original poster from hitting the wrong button in his or her e-mail client. The Department of Homeland Security caused a similar problem earlier this week, flooding inboxes of subscribers to its Open Source Intelligence Report when it set the reply-to address to copy all list members.

All it took was a single request for a change, according to SANS Internet Storm Center director Marcus H. Sachs, and events were set in motion for what turned out to be a mini distributed-denial-of-service attack. "Dozens" of list members replied to the original message, and six hours after the first message was sent, there were 275 e-mails sent to everyone on the list.

The e-mailing continued to steamroll to the point that over 2.2 million messages were bouncing across the list and flooding inboxes. Apparently not realizing that the problem was on their end, DHS and Defense Department admins asked list members to "kindly stop now please."... More     Comments in the Forums

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