Counting Machines Behind NAT

By Derek Sooman on April 24, 2003, 4:36 AM
[COLOR=royalblue]"Overtone writes "Steve Bellovin of AT&T Labs Research has published a paper showing how to remotely count the number of machines hiding behind a NAT box (in IMW 2002, the Second Internet Measurement Workshop). Your friendly DSL or cable broadband provider could implement this technique to enforce their single-machine license clause. Bellovin explains how to change the NAT software to defeat the measurement scheme, but the fix is complicated and unlikely to appear in commercial home gateways anytime soon." "[/COLOR] writes, here.

The implications of this are, of course, rather worrying for home broadband users. There's nothing to stop your ISP from introducing a new clause to prevent you from operating Internet Connection Sharing on your own home LAN.

Their justifications will range from "better download speeds for normal, ungreedy users" to citing the increasing costs of technical support, however as always I am sure that its greed that motivates such things. "Want to connect a second home PC to the Internet? Why its so easy with the SECOND CABLE MODEM WE WILL RENT YOU!"

Its about time, I think, that broadband ISPs fully realise that we pay the extortionate amounts of monies involved to get cable, ADSL, etc, so that we can run NAT, P2P, etc and not have to worry about it! Get with the program, people. Stop conning us or we will find ISPs that treat us fairly.

More here.

And here, and here.

User Comments: 7

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DigitAlex said:
Already read this info somewhere else ;)oh and btw my ISP in belgium already has a clause that does not allow me to have anything but a single PC connected to the Internet ...Plus they only recommend / allow / sell DSL modems (i have a dsl modem/router/dhcp server which i suppose is illegal) and such stuff ...
timmoore said:
Here in England, some ISP's are offering to help you set up a LAN in your home, this is over one DSL connection of course. I don't see the problem with it, the customer gets what they want and the provider just wants more. It isn't like they are losing money from it, they are just plain old greedy :mad: !
Phantasm66 said:
When I signed up with NTL, they said that it was fine to use internet connection sharing on a home LAN, but they would not support it.That kind of made me laugh because the sort of ***** I get when I phone NTL knows about as much about computing as a penguin knows about astrophysics.But if they go back on this, and try to say that its not allowed, I will be MAD!
DigitAlex said:
Oh phant listen it's not allowed for me, but I have many machines with a router & hub & stuff. I am alone to use all this LAN so what's the f*ing difference ??? I pay for bandwidth and transfer volume (which is limited !!!) so I can use it the way I want ...
---agissi--- said:
Yeah that sounds really uncool how they can just do that to you.
Phantasm66 said:
Well, as far as I am aware no one has actually done it yet, in the sense that they have used the technology in the article to catch NAT abusers.However, I'd like to ask anyone reading if they have been told by their ISP to only use one computer with the connection or else....
DigitAlex said:
This rule is as it is now for 3 years in Brlgium (since ADSL was launched) and I installed lots of DSL connections everywhere with 7 times of 10 several PCs and NAT. None of these people have ever heard of smth from the ISP though ...
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