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RIPE MS SQL worm analysis (posted 2003-02-27)

RIPE has another analysis of the MS SQL worm. RIPE monitors performance between 49 locations on the net. 40% of the monitored pairs of hosts suffered from congestion between them, in 60% of the cases there weren't any problems. The problems were cleared up after about 8 hours.

RIPE also monitors root server performance and BGP activity. Two of the root servers suffered a good deal of packet loss. The BGP stuff is the most spectacular: there were about 30 to 60 times more updates of different kinds.

This clearly shows the need for control and data plane seperation: congestion in the actual traffic shouldn't be able to take down the routing protocols. On the other hand, having BGP and other routing protocols run "in-band" over the same circuits as the actual data makes sure there is a functioning path between two routers. There's also something to be said for that.

On NANOG there was some talk about UDP/1434 filters. I argued that they shouldn't be necessary any more by now, but the rate of reinfection (people bringing in new vulnerable boxes) remains significant. So places with Windows machines on the network will probably need to have these filters in place for the forseeable future. But this is annoying because they also block legitimate UDP traffic, such as DNS, once in a while, and many routers take a performance hit when these types of filters are enabled.