IP Network

VoIP DDoS Preparations – Mandatory Testing

Simon Woodhead

Simon Woodhead

7th September 2021

By Simon Woodhead

Alongside recent posts here (this, this and this), shared with our mailing list, Status Page notifications drawing attention to them, and of course our Community Slack, we have highlighted on Slack voluntary testing for the last two nights. This testing is of the contingency unpublished Availability Zone which may require network operators to reconfigure their equipment. Tonight we will be having a full switchover affecting all.

Whilst the use of this new Availability Zone is simply contingency and is somewhere between Plan E and Plan G in our planning hierarchy, it is an adaptation to our long-standing DDoS planning based on intelligence about this attack elsewhere. It is the only one which requires customers to do anything but is essential in giving your service the best chance of remaining operational during a concerted attack against Simwood.

Considering the risk to availability of your own services and disruption to your customers, the regulatory obligations you have, and the potential remedies from breaching them, the take-up of voluntary testing has been disappointing.

As some of those who participated are asking for another round of testing and those who have not participated so far are presumably prepared, we will be failing all inbound services over to the new contingency Availability Zone tonight. This is inbound traffic only, your outbound is unaffected and will naturally adapt when the time comes providing you’re compliant with our interop! This has been scheduled via our status page.

I’m sorry if this sounds pushy but we care about your end-users and we care about your service. As I mentioned in the first blog post, this scenario has pre-occupied me for a decade so our plans are not new, yet we’re still adapting them, and thankfully our entire network has been designed around them. If you’d prefer a wholesaler who apparently hasn’t planned, isn’t adapting, and doesn’t care if you test the adaptation to the planning they haven’t made, there’s plenty of options. Anyone can put their head in the sand!

Hopefully all this will come to nothing but I’d sooner be prepared and stood down, than caught by surprise.

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