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Networking Security Technology

You're Being DDOSed — What Do You Do? Name and Shame? 336

Posted by Soulskill
from the stop-drop-and-roll-doesn't-work dept.
badger.foo writes "When you're hit with a DDOS, what do you do? In his most recent column, Peter Hansteen narrates a recent incident that involved a DNS based DDOS against his infrastructure and that of some old friends of his. He ends up asking: should we actively publish or 'name and shame' DDOS participants (or at least their IP addresses)? How about scans that may or may not be preparations for DDOSes to come?"
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You're Being DDOSed — What Do You Do? Name and Shame?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @05:37PM (#42390509)

    DDoS the DDoSers, that'll show em!

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @05:43PM (#42390545)

    The vast majority of DDoS participants are infected computers in botnets, and their owners are typically unaware. Will they even notice your naming sufficiently to be ashamed? Maybe if it's a corporation it'd have some effect: publishing that you were hit by a DDoS that included X computers from BigCorp might make BigCorp look bad. But not so much if the botnet is a bunch of random home PCs.

    • by rtb61 (674572)

      Do your governments legwork for them. Gather evidence and file a complaint with 'ALL' the appropriate regulatory authorities. Sure some will lead overseas to 'somewhat dead ends' but enough complaints with evidence would result in powerful diplomatic pressure to pursue criminal investigation and prosecution. Unless appropriate authorities get a proper measure of the activity they can not respond appropriately. Appropriately here means neither going bat shit insane with sting operations and massive stupid p

      • by Synerg1y (2169962)
        The thing with ddos is it often spawns from a botnet, aka "I'm sorry officer, I didn't know my computer was attacking sony's website, how can I get rid of this malware on here again?"

        The anon attacks were an exception and as a result led to the arrests of some individuals that weren't at the head of the attack.
        • by rtb61 (674572)

          Of course repeat excuses would certainly wear a bit thin and likely leave you wearing a fine. Keep in mind the fine would no different to so a traffic offence for speeding, so a bit of a reminder to keep your computer secure. So 'erm' mass protests would still slide by, single offence per annum but repeat offenders would still get a call.

          • by Synerg1y (2169962)
            Historically, the feds have gone after the operates of the bot net to stop it's operation. In the case of anon, the DDOS was tied to a website movement, which was tracked by feds linking the attack to the users, even then some have argued they didn't intentionally install the ddos tool on their computers and wouldn't have knowing what it was for. When somebody starts going through the list of IPs and starts looking for similarities, they can usually tell if it's a botnet or not by the randomness of the IP
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheEffigy (2666397)
      How about the service provider connecting those home computers to the net?
      • by tnk1 (899206) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @06:19PM (#42390745)

        Not sure we want to encourage providers to start nosing around in their customers' traffic more than they already do.... Just saying.

        • by Immerman (2627577)

          I'm not sure about that - seems like they already comb through for any information that might help their bottom line, noting at least trivially abnormal behavior such as DDOS participation or email spamming while they're at it and at least notifying the account holder that their system(s) may be compromised would seem to be basic responsible citizenship. Instead it seems to be treated as just more traffic to bring you closer to your data cap and those sweet, sweet overage charges.

        • by MBCook (132727)
          I understand we don't want them watching what we're buying on Amazon, but isn't part of their responsibility as a network operator to ensure that their network isn't actively harming others?
    • by Threni (635302)

      Reminds me of a mate who runs a few sites - every few days he gets amusing emails from irate idiots who've received spam from spammer's who've randomly selected his site's email addresses as `reply-to` addresses, threatening to report him to the `internet police` or name and shame him etc. He used to reply to them, but now he's got a bunch of rules to just delete them, amusing as they are.

      So yeah, `naming and shaming` the ISP responsible for temporarily allocating a dynamic IP address to some granny who's u

      • by Immerman (2627577)

        Is it? We're not talking about site operators being spoofed, we're talking about the service providers that are actually connecting the zombified PCs to the 'net. The ISP knows exactly which account is using which IP address at any given moment, and could at least notify Granny that her computer/network may be compromised and she should run whatever the good free scanning suite du-jour is. Similarly if they note that some private account is suddenly acting as a server sending hundreds or thousands of ema

    • "The vast majority of DDoS participants are infected computers in botnets, and their owners are typically unaware."

      This.

      Also, you might never really know who's behind it.
    • by sgt scrub (869860)

      The vast majority of participants in a DNS based DDoS are "administrators" that have not disabled recursive lookups. A friendly, fix your DNS settings shit head, should do IMHO. That being said, "administrators" that do not set up DNS properly deserve a little shame.

    • What happens if you run a legitimate DNS server and a botnet spoofs source IPs in DNS requests to launder and amplify their attack by reflection off you (and countless other DNS servers)?

      I've been seeing this come through my system and I don't yet have the sophistication to filter out the attacks. Not that I'm asking to be blacklisted, but ... I should be blacklisted.

    • "The vast majority of DDoS participants are infected computers in botnets" .. that run on Microsoft Windows ...
      • by Bengie (1121981)
        Don't worry, Steam is coming to Linux. Soon Linux will start to become a "regular user" OS, so it can join the ranks of Windows as a zombie in a bot-net.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    He ends up asking: should we actively publish or 'name and shame' DDOS participants (or at least their IP addresses)?

    Next up, someone broke into my house; is some stern criticism in order?

    Hey, how about you give the evidence to the police?

    • Hey, how about you give the evidence to the police?

      And you expect the police to do what with that, exactly? Even if you live in a city with technically competent (or even just non-Barney Fife) officers, the odds that they will have the time to care is practically nil. Most likely the majority of the systems involved in a DDoS are not from the country you live in, meaning the cops would need to contact INTERPOL to get anything moving - and they don't usually do that for much of anything short of capital murder.

      In other words, sure, you can bring it to

    • by shentino (1139071)

      We have this concept known as an attractive nuisance.

      Sure, grand theft auto is still illegal, but lately governments are beginning to crack down on people leaving their cars unattended and running.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Publish. Shame. Maim. Cripple. What ever it takes to get some measure of satisfaction.

    We had this type of DDoS attack. 1 - 2 million requests per hour against a small VPS. Bind wasn't running but it didn't matter; the requests kept coming for weeks. We cloned the VPS so we'd get another IP, switched things over and abandoned the first VPS.

    Backups people. Have backups of your code, configs and databases.

  • No (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @05:49PM (#42390583)

    The only reason you can possibly have for publishing the IP addresses is to provoke vigilante justice type of actions, likely counter ddos or something.
    What you should do is report him to the abuse department of his ISP. Note the responses of the ISP's and name and shame the ISP's that do not take action.
    IP addresses from bad ISP's should end up on a "botnet-friendly ip list" so we can start blocking the traffic from these isp's.

    • Re:No (Score:5, Informative)

      by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex@Nos ... t-retrograde.com> on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @09:18PM (#42391629)

      Note the responses of the ISP's and name and shame the ISP's that do not take action. IP addresses from bad ISP's should end up on a "botnet-friendly ip list" so we can start blocking the traffic from these isp's.

      On a DoS or DDoS (special case of DoS) that's fine. On a reflective DDoS (RDDoS, a special case of both DDoS and DoS) you have a different situation. A denial of service (DoS) is any interruption of service, e.g., by flooding the server with SYN packets. A distributed denial of service (DDoS) is when the attack comes from multiple different places at once, e.g., a single connection may not be enough to take down a server with high bandwidth; However if you coordinate the attack across many different connections then the overall traffic can eclipse even a high bandwidth server. With a DDoS the machines coordinating the attack may or may not belong to the attackers, but it's a good idea to contact the ISPs so that the IP holders can be notified that their systems may be infected with a bot-net -- Although, this may not be the case, as I'll explain later. In a reflective distributed denial of service (RDDoS), the apparent IP addresses may belong to machines that were under the control of any malicious software. Reporting these IPs would be pointless.

      When a server receives the first SYN (synchronize) packet of a TCP connection handshake, it replies with a SYN-ACK (acknowledgement & synchronization) to the source IP of the originating packet. Then a ACK is sent to the server to acknowledge the server's synchronization. This verifies both endpoints aren't spoofed. A RDDoS takes advantage of the fact that:
      0. The source IP address of the initial SYN packet can be spoofed (the "From" field can be bogus).
      1. The server sends a SYN-ACK before the connection endpoints have been verified.
      2. The TCP protocol allows several (five) retries of the SYN-ACK packet.

      In a RDDoS, a single malicious computer can spoof the "From" IP of a TCP connection, and spray it around to servers on the net. The bogus return IP address is that of the victim system. Thus, legitimate servers will flood the victim's connection with five SYN-ACK packets for each single packet the attacker sends. Thus the victim never has the attacker's IP address. To combat this servers may pro-actively detect an IP that sends too many incomplete TCP connection requests, and block it. However, the attacker can have many IP addresses at their control (see: botnet) limited to just a few packets per hour sent to an entire Internet of servers. None of these infected machines will be revealing their IP addresses when they perform the reflective attack by spoofing the source IPs of their packets. What we need is for ISPs to block packets originating from their network that that don't have correct return IP addresses... Not all ISPs do this.

      Now what if the attacker only has a single machine at their control and they perform an RDDoS? Why, the traffic pattern is identical to a DDoS -- Ah, I can hear your gears turning already: Can't the return IP addresses can be checked to see if they're residential IPs, and thus victims of a botnet infection? Yes, but how do you differentiate the non-residential IPs between infected servers and non infected servers? Just assume that the non-residential IPs aren't intentionally malicious? Yes, indeed, which is why RDDoS is a popular form of network DoS.

      I reiterate: What we need is for ISPs to block packets originating from their network that that don't have correct return IP addresses; Thus, spoofed packets are dropped at the source. You'd think with deep packet inspection now available this shallow packet inspection would be broadly adopted -- Ah, but this is electrons spent that don't directly benefit profits. IPsec [wikipedia.org] was once a requirement of IPv6 adoption, and would defeat endpoint spoofing, however IPSec has been made optional for IPv6, so we can expect the RDDoS attacks to continue for quite some time.

      • The type of DDoS discussed in TFS/TFA isn't TCP-based. It's UDP-based, is referred to a DNS amplification attack, and abuses DNS servers that permit public recursion to accomplish its goals. There is no handshake involved, as UDP is a connectionless protocol.

      • by Bengie (1121981)

        You'd think with deep packet inspection now available this shallow packet inspection would be broadly adopted

        This could actually be done by the end-points. Cable/DSL/Fiber "modems", could make sure that the source IP is of a valid IP list and/or subnet, since the end-point already needs to register with the ISP to hand out IP addresses.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Easy, you post the name of the attacker on Slashdot in an article about a new supercool anything and have him slashdotted.

    • by Soluzar (1957050)
      Do sites still get slashdotted? I thought these days this place doesn't drive enough traffic for that. Could be mistaken.
      • We should find out. What's your website's address?
      • Do sites still get slashdotted? I thought these days this place doesn't drive enough traffic for that. Could be mistaken.

        These days sites seem to get slashdotted very rarely. However I mostly figure it's just due to servers and their bandwidth getting strong enough to alleviate that. Slashdot itself seems to have a solid user base and traffic, at least looking at the amount of comments that stories get.

      • By Slashdot, OP meant Reddit.
  • contact the ISPs involved, tell them they yank the bad boys' service or you will blackhole them.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Spoofing is more than trivial, and anyone but the dumbest do this to cover their tracks and keep law enforcement back-tracking from a botnet node back to the perp.

    Better to track the traffic back over the 'net (using CEF-forwarding tables or ACL etc.) with the help of the relevant ISPs.

    If the end ISP isn't helpful, shame them and their upstream peers.

    Dom

  • by stevegee58 (1179505) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @05:58PM (#42390637) Journal
    1) It's DISTRIBUTED. You'd have to name and shame thousands.
    2) Many of the DDOS nodes don't know they're being hijacked for a DDOS. Name and shame an innocent person?
    • Not innocent (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ElusiveJoe (1716808)

      Many of the DDOS nodes don't know they're being hijacked for a DDOS. Name and shame an innocent person?

      They are NOT innocent. They let their computers be used in stealing, censorship, blackmailing, spam and other evil stuff. It doesn't matter if it is stupidity, ignorance or malicious intent.

      If your car keeps hitting other cars you should hand over your license.

      • by Phyrexia (55710)

        Someone remotely hijacks your driverless automobile. They drive it into a coffeeshop. Are you to blame?

        • by Lisias (447563)

          Someone remotely hijacks your driverless automobile. They drive it into a coffeeshop. Are you to blame?

          YES.

          You are responsible for keeping your car under legal and technical correct operation.

          Oh, you car has a manufacturing defect? Sue the manufacturer for damages in order do compensate you for the money you lost due this defect.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Many of the DDOS nodes don't know they're being hijacked for a DDOS. Name and shame an innocent person?

        They are NOT innocent. They let their computers be used in stealing, censorship, blackmailing, spam and other evil stuff. It doesn't matter if it is stupidity, ignorance or malicious intent.

        If your car keeps hitting other cars you should hand over your license.

        Nice analogy, If someone steals my car and then runes into someone I should totally lose my license.

        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by duk242 (1412949)

          Someone steals your car every night and drives it around, you're not aware of the problem, however someone sees people driving your car and throwing shit at people and lets the police know. The police then pass on the information to you saying "Why is your car out there throwing shit at people at night?"

          It is up to you to make sure that your car is properly locked and secured at night, so people can't steal it and take it for joyrides.

          Is that a better analogy?

          • by Renraku (518261)

            In order for this to be a more fitting analogy, someone has paid someone else to contract 10,000 car thieves to steal 10,000 cars and all come by and fling shit at your house all night. You ask the police for help and they say they can't really do anything because there's goddamn 10,000 cars and they'd have to build a prison in order to house all the car thieves.

            But, your home owner's association decides to enact a temporary 'show proof of residence in this area to get through' rule and the shit-flinging i

      • by number17 (952777)
        You are being ridiculous. This is like somebody smashing your window, hot wiring the car, and then hitting other cars with it. The standard locking mechanisms are good enough to keep the ordinary criminal at bay. Sure you can put immobilizes or wheel locks on the car but those aren't yet standard. If its something that happens repeatedly to you then start looking into more secure prevention methods.
        • by Immerman (2627577)

          Correction - the ordinary locking mechanisms are good enough to keep basically honest folk from temptation and make opportunistic crimes a little more difficult. Anyone with even the most basic lockpicking skill can open 90% of mechanical locks in less than a minute, and picking the lock is usually one of the most difficult ways to gain entry, you only do it if you don't want your entry to be obvious.

      • by nnet (20306)
        Excellent. Internet usage should be a licensed privilege.
        • Excellent. Internet usage should be a licensed privilege.

          I think you may be on to something...

      • Many of the DDOS nodes don't know they're being hijacked for a DDOS. Name and shame an innocent person?

        They are NOT innocent. They let their computers be used in stealing, censorship, blackmailing, spam and other evil stuff. It doesn't matter if it is stupidity, ignorance or malicious intent.

        If your car keeps hitting other cars you should hand over your license.

        Say I send a bunch of packets all over the Internet. They look like TCP requests created by YOU! Ah, so thousands of legitimate servers reply to the spoofed requests and flood your connection with traffic trying to complete the TCP handshake with you. You collect a list of IP addresses, and report all the IPs. Your report will include everyone from Apple.com to Zombo.com. [zombo.com]

        Meanwhile, MY IP address is not included in your list at all. Even if I used a network of infected machines to perform this RDDoS

    • by tnk1 (899206)

      Not to mention pointless.

      Me: Mom, your name is on a list of DDOS spammers?

      Mom: Is that bad?

    • by Desler (1608317)

      3) Spoofing an address is extremely easy.

    • by Cheviot (248921)

      If they're not protecting their computers they are far from innocent.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You're being 'ddosed' from thousands of different IPs - list them all!

    Who cares if they're compromised computers - naming them will surely shame the botnet owners into submission!

    Was this question asked by an idiot?

     

    • Who cares if they're compromised computers

      I don't. Why should I?

    • Why is this marked insightful? If the botnet owners had broken into people's homes and physically stolen the computers they then used for the ddos, instead of merely hijacking them, should the victims of those thefts be reported as criminals?
  • DDOS is a violation of federal law and should not be tolerated. If it is a botnet, whoever is running such a botnet is in violation of federal law.

    • who will say, "uh, what? if you got a dose from somebody, you want public health."

      • Would "I have evidence that a computer system that I operate is being abused in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act" be any clearer?
        • Would "I have evidence that a computer system that I operate is being abused in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act" be any clearer?

          And then they send you to the FBIs computer crimes division, since the evidence you have is that it is being carried out by computers all over the country and probably world? What happens next? What are the general steps one uses to report an attack? get it stopped? mitigate risk?

  • It's a first step (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @06:16PM (#42390725) Homepage Journal

    Eventually we should have a reputation-based distributed admin function for the Internet. If a dozen high-rated NetOps guys all sign messages that say that a given IP is spewing DDoS traffic, the infrastructure should permit a block without the owning admin having to deal with it proactively.

    If a network doesn't participate, that could play into trust levels. If an admin screws up, he loses reputation. If an admin tends to advertise YouTube routes into Pakistan, he never gets a good reputation in the first place.

    As usual, it's all trade-offs and we don't yet have an extensible crypto-reputation system, so one thing at a time.

    To the original question - it's probably not going to do much good, but it's good to cultivate such expectations.

    • by symbolset (646467) * on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @06:56PM (#42390949) Journal
      Censoring the Internet is never the right answer.
      • It's not censoring the internet, any more than email blacklists are censoring the internet. If I own a router, I have the right to drop any packets I like. If I choose to drop packets based on reputation score from a robust cryptographic reptuation system, and my network becomes more robust and stable and attracts more customers and money, then everyone wins. If I drop packets based on a crappy system, my network becomes unreliable, everyone leaves and I go out of business. Everyone wins again.

      • That's simplistic.

        Autonomous systems should have the ability to publish opinion and the ability to filter.

        "Censoring is never right" as a response to reasonable filtering is like saying, "Every user should receive and read through all their spam."

  • by toygeek (473120) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @06:20PM (#42390757) Homepage Journal

    Make up some story about how you tracked down a huge network of movie pirates.

  • by Frater 219 (1455) on Tuesday December 25, 2012 @06:42PM (#42390849) Journal

    Sites under DoS attack should publish (through a channel not congested by the attack) a list of the IP addresses attacking them, through some trustworthy third party. Then, other sites should subscribe to that list and refuse service to those addresses until they clean up and stop attacking.

    For instance, consider your uncle who uses AOL. His computer is infected with botnet garbage and is participating in a DoS attack against (say) Slashdot. Slashdot sends a list of attacking IPs, including your uncle's, to Team Cymru (the third party). Cymru aggregates these and publishes a list, updated every three hours. AOL subscribes to that list. When your uncle goes to check his AOL email, he gets an error: "We regret to inform you, your computer has been hacked, and is being used by criminals to break the Internet. You can't get to your AOL email until you kick the criminals off by installing an antivirus program and running a full scan. Click here to install Kaspersky Antivirus for free. Thank you for helping keep criminals from breaking everyone's Internet. Sincerely, Tim Armstrong, CEO, AOL."

    Then your uncle gets mad and calls up AOL and complains. They try walking him through using the antivirus program, but he just curses them out and says he'll go to Hotmail instead. He tries ... but Hotmail also subscribes to the same list and tells him the same thing: "Your computer is infected with malware and is being used to attack other sites on the Internet. You cannot obtain a Hotmail account until your computer is clean. Click here to install Microsoft Antivirus." He gives up and calls AOL back, and they help him get his computer cleaned up. Within half an hour, it's off the botnet; and within three hours, it's off the list of attacking hosts, and your uncle can get his AOL email again.

    • by Zedrick (764028)
      There should be a list of ISP's/hosts that doesn't do anything about it. We (my hosting company) usually get DDoSed by turkish IP's from Turk Telecom a couple of times a month, because of random Kurdish websites their customers don't like. I report them all to to the turktelecom abuse address, but it doesn't seem to help much. (the blocked IP's keep trying)

      Last couple of weeks some of our customers (using outdated Joomla-installations with security holes) were used for a DDoS against Bank of America. I sh
    • Excellent idea.

      You have described the XBL.

      The Spamhaus XBL [spamhaus.org], or "Exploits Block List", is a DNSBL [wikipedia.org] (DNS-served blacklist) that lists IP addresses of systems known to be infected or otherwise being used by malicious parties. ("The XBL is an automatic system whose detectors need to receive email (spam, worms, etc.) directly from the IP address so the connection data can be analysed to determine if it's a proxy or virus-spewer.") The blacklist is developed in a way primarily to be useful in reporting systems e

      • by Frater 219 (1455)

        Sure, I know and like DNSBLs including Spamhaus's, but this is a distinct application from XBL. Specifically, removal needs to be rapid in order for it to be useful for rejecting customer Web traffic. That's an engineering requirement that email anti-spam systems don't have, since SMTP is designed to retry for days if necessary to get a message through. Moreover, hosts that send any legitimate email are very few compared to hosts that send Web requests; and even though email admins are frequently dense, un

        • Fast removal may be a requirement that email anti-spam systems don't have, but that doesn't invalidate DNS as a delivery mechanism. You can update your listing at whatever frequency you see fit and you can set low TTLs on the DNS entries. As it turns out, XBL sets a 35 minute TTL. SpamCop's SBL sets 15 minutes.

          Moreover, hosts that send any legitimate email are very few compared to hosts that send Web requests...

          I think you're making a case against using a DNSBL, but I'm not sure how this point supports t

    • by CBravo (35450)
      There are a couple of things that you, as an AS, might want another AS do (for traffic to your AS only):
      -use a blocklist of IPs, as proposed above
      -use a whitelist of IPs for known good ones (e.g. logged in users)
      -use a throttle for the rest (conn/s, bandwidth, etc). Allows for blackholing entirely.

      That way you can let another AS do your throttling for you (so the tubes are no longer overflowing). You determine the amount of traffic that you can filter and categorize on your side. You keep adding IPs
  • The idea of voluntary email blackhole lists could be adapted here. Victims of DDOS could submit lists of IP addresses that are attacking, to a central clearinghouse, which will analyze the attack pattern in order to determine the most efficient response. The clearinghouse would verify and document which groups of IPs are part of a particular attack in progress, and notify the relevant ISPs in real time. These ISPs would respond by blocking outgoing access to the victim from their network for a time. Wheneve
  • Most of the systems involved in distributed attacks are not intentionally willing participants. They are generally part of a botnet, belonging to unknowing owners and controlled by uncaring masters. Shame them all you want but that won't make them go away.
  • I've had sizable amounts of junk come in from China Telecom DSL class C blocks in Shenzhen. It's obviously a botnet. Amusingly, by changing what the attackers get back, it's possible to slowly influence their behavior. The zombies just send blindly, trying SMTP and PHP attacks, and they continue to send even if they get no useful response. But after a few days, some control node notices that the botnet isn't accomplishing anything and stops. Except that a few zombies don't get the word and continue to send

  • null route the ip being attacked?
  • Most packet based DDoS attacks (SYN|FYN|ACK|ICMP) floods do not require a return packet. The source address is always bogus. Reporting it is a joke. New fun and exciting targeted DDoS attacks use improperly set up services/daemons. In this case, recursive lookups on DNS servers are the cause. IMHO, If someone has a fast connection and doesn't disable recursive DNS lookups they should get a warning. After tha,t publishing their whois information on a web site would be a great way to motivate them.

  • Contact the authorities. If they don't care, contact the newspaper and tell them the authorities don't care. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    In the meantime, contact your ISP and beg them not to disconnect you.

    I've been DDoS'd for insulting people on irc. As a home user you have no option but to wait for it to end, especially if you have a static IP which I did at the time. It's small satisfaction knowing that the person flooding you is never going to amount to anything and will probably end up in PMITA prison one da

  • I think that idea needs one of those old form letter responses: Your idea will never work because...

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