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The Internet is vulnerable to complete takedown, U of M expert warns

February 16, 2011

As the world witnessed last week in Egypt, it is possible to shut down Internet access for a select group of people. But what about the entire Internet? And could it be vulnerable to a system-wide crash?

A University of Minnesota expert who can discuss Internet vulnerabilities is:

Max Schuchard, graduate student in Computer Science and Engineering, U of M College of Science and Engineering

Schuchard and his colleagues Yongdae Kim and Nicholas Hopper have created a theoretical method for disabling the entire Internet. Called the Coordinated Cross Plane Session Termination (CXPST) attack, it is a so-called distributed denial of service attack that bombards the control plane of the Internet and renders it inoperable.

Schuchard says that the current defenses against such an attack are ineffective. He does, however, propose a cost-effective solution for defending against CXPST and other similar attacks.

For more information on his research, see

To interview Schuchard, contact Preston Smith, University News Service, or (612) 625-0552; or Rhonda Zurn, College of Science and Engineering, or (612) 626-7959.

Expert Alert is a service provided by the University News Service. Delivered regularly, Expert Alert is designed to connect university experts to today's breaking news and current events. For an archive and other useful media services, visit Views expressed by experts do not represent the views of the University of Minnesota.

Tags: College of Science and Engineering

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