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1992 Fools: ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert


To: atm@sun.com, ietf@isi.edu, iplpdn@nri.reston.va.us, tcp-ip@nic.ddn.mil
Subject: ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 92 00:01:50 -0500
From: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>
Message-ID: <9204010010.aa07622@NRI.Reston.VA.US>
Source-Info:  From (or Sender) name not authenticated.

ATM Network Reliability Group
San Antonio Rd., Mountain View, CA
April 1, 1992

For Immediate Release:

		 Possible Cell Virus Attacks ATM Network

The ATM Network Reliability Group today announced the immediate formation of
the Cell Behaviour Task Force to address serious problems in several recently
installed networks based on Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM).  Sometimes known
as cell-switching, ATM has been touted as the technology to break the
long-standing barriers between packet and circuit based communications
services.  Utilizing very small packets, called cells, with simple headers
that can be processed and routed in hardware, the new networks are able to
interleave packet and circuit data on the same transmission lines without
resorting to wasteful and expensive time-division multiplexing techniques.

However, eleven similar incidents on four separate networks (identities
withheld by request) have raised doubts about the reliability of the new
technology.  In each case, a large ATM switch suffered congestive overload and
failure, apparently due to uncontrolled replication of normally benign control
messages known as OAM cells.  These single-celled messages provide in-band
control functions for virtual circuits, including hop-by-hop and end-to-end
functions such as path connectivity, delay measurement, etc.  There are two
distinct varieties, type 4 and type 5, which normally make up only a very
small fraction of the population of cell traffic in a typical ATM switch.  For
reference, a relatively small ATM switch with a gigabit capacity can handle
roughly two million cells per second of which no more than 200 per second, or
0.01%, would be OAM cells.

The failed switches suffered from an extreme overload of OAM cells, which
apparently began replicating themselves using the multicast capabilities of
the switch through an as yet undiscovered control mechanism.  The rapid influx
of OAM cells quickly overwhelmed the control processors that normally handle
such messages and blocked the outgoing control paths so that no warning could
be given.  Memory dumps later showed buffers and queues full of mostly
identical OAM-like cells, with two interesting features.  First, the buffers
did not contain standard type 4 or type 5 cells but a combination of parts of
each.  Second, slight one- and two-bit mutations of the most common message
appeared later in the queues, which were then further replicated.

The intriguing behavioral possibilities were first noted by Dr. R. Jones, a
former high-school biology teacher, who overhead discussions during lunch at
the Straw Hat Pizza Parlor near the Reliability Group's Mountain View offices.
Now a home-computer enthusiast, he helped develop the sensitive masking
technique used to analyze the cell buffers, based on his experiences with
similar tests for blood cell typing.  He also suggested two of the more
important investigative areas being explored.  First, the original replicated
cells may only have been a symptom of an earlier problem for which OAM cells
were being automatically generated in an attempt to fix the problem.  The OAM
cells may themselves have caused more problems, with a cascading effect
similar to a biological auto-immune reaction.  The second area, which has
caused more concern, is the possibility of infection of neighboring switches,
though so far only individual switches have failed.

The actual cause of the problem is still unknown.  The most commonly held
opinion is that a combination of line errors and software or hardware bugs
conspired to bring about the initial duplication.  A NJ-based member of the
investigating team has suggested that variant encodings of the Application
Signalling Bit in the cell header might also be responsible.  But some have
suggested that the problem seems more similar to computer virus attacks and
the Internet "worm" in particular, and are particularly intrigued by its
dual-inheritance and mutation aspects.  Experts discount the possibility of a
true, replicating, single-cell virus in the ATM network, observing that the
48-octet payload of an ATM cell is too small to contain a sufficiently complex
program.  An investigator who wished to remain nameless maintained that the
team's greatest difficulty was interpreting the ATM standards themselves, and
hinted that the whole affair might come down to a misunderstanding on the part
of the switch manufacturer.

Until the problem is solved, however, the task force is recommending that
communications customers use caution when buying or using ATM network
services, especially for critical functions such as remote banking, and cash
machine operations in particular.

Principal Investigator,

Tracy Mallory
tmallory@bbn.com




[ And replies: ]

From: dean@pico.qpsx.oz.au
Subject: Re: ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert
To: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 92 13:44:47 WST
In-Reply-To: <9204010010.aa07622@NRI.Reston.VA.US>; 
             from "Tracy Mallory" at Apr 1, 92 12:01 am

Tracey,
this is a potential catastrophe.  I've talked to some French people at
the CNET and CCITT and we've decided the only safe thing to do is to
isolate the virus by wrapping infected switches in the largest garbage
bags available.  We also think that Interexchange carriers could be a
potential way of spreading the infection, and that these should be shut
down until the extent of this disater is really known.

Thanks for alerting us to this problem,
Dean (Economou)
dean@qpsx.oz.au


- ------- Message 3

From: Ken Crepea <crepea@cisco.com>
To: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>
Cc: crepea@cisco.com
Subject: Re: ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert
In-Reply-To: Your message of Wed, 01 Apr 92 00:01:50 -0500.
             <9204010010.aa07622@NRI.Reston.VA.US>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 92 22:22:05 PST


Always upbeat, aint ya?

Ken C.



- ------- Message 4

To: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@nic.near.net>
Subject: Re: ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert
In-reply-to: Your message of Wed, 01 Apr 92 00:01:50 -0500.
             <9204010510.AA22474@nic.ddn.mil>
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 92 01:25:14 -0500
From: John Curran <jcurran@nic.near.net>

- - --------
	From: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@nic.near.net>
	Subject: ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert
	Date: Wed, 01 Apr 92 00:01:50 -0500

	
	ATM Network Reliability Group
	San Antonio Rd., Mountain View, CA
	April 1, 1992

	For Immediate Release:

			 Possible Cell Virus Attacks ATM Network

	...

Nice!   If I hadn't seen anything on the network by this morning, I was
	going to write up a new network transport medium:  PunchNet.
   	(Paper tape in long plastic pipes; grad students frantic gluing
         the hole punches back in... )  
	It can achieve fairly high speed (watch those paper cuts) and 
	is immune to that dreaded EM pulse that worries the military so.
	The government also has a great surplus of the media around..

	But now I have another year to refine.  ;-)

/John


- ------- Message 5

To: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>
Subject: Re: ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Wed, 01 Apr 92 00:01:50 PST."
             <9204010010.aa07622@NRI.Reston.VA.US>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 92 23:11:16 PST
From: raj@hptnjar.cup.hp.com


OK, so maybe it is important to remember what date is stamped on the
message. I all too often assume that I can relax after the ides of
March... 

;-) ;-) ;-)

rick jones


- ------- Message 6

To: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>
Subject: Re: ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert
In-reply-to: Your message of "Wed, 01 Apr 92 00:01:50 CDT." 
             <9204010511.AA11948@Sun.COM>
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 92 09:28:50 +0100
From: Jon Crowcroft <J.Crowcroft@cs.ucl.ac.uk>



 >ATM Network Reliability Group
 >April 1, 1992

:-)

how about all the acks to the multicast causing an hyper-exponential 
implosion and the ultimate in black hole router problems:-)

good one
jon


- ------- Message 7

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1992 01:05:05 -0800 (PST)
From: Mark Crispin <MRC@panda.com>
Sender: Mark Crispin <mrc@ikkoku-kan.panda.com>
Subject: re: ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert
To: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>
In-Reply-To: <199204010511.AA16277@venera.isi.edu>

One of the best I've seen in years!  I wonder how many people will be fooled.



- ------- Message 8

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 92 09:52:45 EST
From: John Regan <jregan@wellfleet.com>
To: tmallory@BBN.COM
Subject: Re:  ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert

April Fools, right?


- ------- Message 9

To: tmallory@BBN.COM
CC: emerald@BBN.COM, deptiss@BBN.COM
In-reply-to: Tracy Mallory's message of Wed, 01 Apr 92 09:50:29 -0500
Subject: FYI - direct from tcp-ip
Reply-to: jmaclean@BBN.COM
Cc: jmaclean@BBN.COM
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 92 10:14:22 EST
From: jmaclean@BBN.COM
Sender: jmaclean@BBN.COM


I would be skeptical of messages dated April 1 st.

John 


- ------- Message 10

To: Paul Christ <christ@rus.uni-stuttgart.dbp.de>
cc: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>, mlunardoni@BBN.COM, rschaaf@BBN.COM
Subject: Re: ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert
In-reply-to: Your message of 01 Apr 92 10:59:56 +0100.
             <168*christ@rus.uni-stuttgart.dbp.de>
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 92 10:43:02 -0500
From: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>

Paul,

I hope you have already discovered by now that my "report" was only
meant to entertain, and the problems reported have no basis in fact.
The report was carefully dated April 1st (April Fool's Day) in the
body of the message, a day traditionally used for spoofs and tricks
of this sort.

That aside, your request about BBN's ATM activity deserves a reply.  We
are building a new product based on ATM switching, aimed initially at
enterprise networking with interswitch trunks of up to 155Mbits(OC3, STM,
etc.).  We are active participants in the ANSII T1S1.5 standards work
and members of the ATM Forum, an industry association with a charter of
helping to make ATM switching for data communications a commercial reality
in the near-term.

If you wish further information please contact Mark Lunardoni, to whom
I am also sending this reply.

Regards,

Tracy

> Tracy,

> thnx for your very interestin report which I got as a member of the
> IPLPDN list.

> Questions:

> 1. What is the ATM Network Reliability Group? Is this
>    a group to become a member of? etc. etc. 

> 2. Is there a list of the ATM trials you mentioned in your report?

> 3. Which information etc. is available elsewhere

> 4. What is BBN doing in the ATM field (what about Craig Partridge AAL)

> 5. etc.

> Backgorund:

> The University of Stuttgart Computing Center 'RUS' runs everything
> what is 'fast and expensive': 2 Crays, the Gigabit UltraNet, FDDI,
> a bunch of circuit switched 140Mbit/s lines out of the 'Forerunner
> Broadband Network' of the German Telecom - we carry FDDI traffic over
> these lines - across Germany, together with Mercedes Benz and 
> Porsche we participate in one of the 2 'SMDS' field trials of the 
> Telecom, we are lobbying for participation in the fothcoming German 
> ATM field trial, we partipate in 2 european RACE projects in the
> spirit of the Gigabit testbeds - aiming at international ATM 
> (God bless E> urope), we are in contact with FORE systems ... .


> Yours

> Paul Christ
> Communications Systems &
> BelWue Coordination
> Computing Center
> University of Stuttgart




- ------- Message 11

From: Bob Hinden <Bob.Hinden@eng.sun.com>
To: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>
In-Reply-To: <9204011552.AA02656@Sun.COM>
Subject: Mail loop in atm lists at sun

I fixed it.

Bob

p.s. Also, I loved your message!!!


- ------- Message 12

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 92 11:24:01 EST
From: Steven Winnett <swinnett@BBN.COM>
To: tmallory@BBN.COM
cc: emerald@BBN.COM, deptiss@BBN.COM
Subject: Uncontrolled ATM OAM Cell Mitosis

Tracy,
This sounds extremely serious, in fact deadly to Emerald. I
suggest you convene an emergency meeting of the ATM task force
at the nearest Pizza Hut.
Steve


- ------- Message 13

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 92 08:27:34 PST
From: Fred Baker <fbaker@acc.com>
To: tmallory@BBN.COM
Subject: Re:  ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert
Cc: postmaster@comm.eng.sun.com, recipients <|postmaster@atm.eng.sun.com>
MMDF-Warning: Parse error in original version of preceding line at EUROPA.BBN.COM

Tracy:

Thanks for the alert.  I have to say that as I was reading it, I wasn't
altogether sure whether or not you were kidding; I decided that you
weren't.

Blood? How artificial is our intelligence these days?

By the way, do you happen to know who owns atm.eng.sun.com or
comm.eng.sun.com?  When I came in this morning, I was greeted by:

   61 tmallory@BBN.COM   Tue Mar 31 21:12  102/5695  ATM Network Reliability G
   62 tmallory@BBN.COM   Tue Mar 31 21:13  106/5907  ATM Network Reliability G
   63 tmallory@BBN.COM   Tue Mar 31 21:16  110/6119  ATM Network Reliability G
   64 tmallory@bbn.com   Tue Mar 31 21:18   95/5375  ATM Network Reliability G
   65 tmallory@BBN.COM   Tue Mar 31 21:20  114/6331  ATM Network Reliability G
   66 tmallory@BBN.COM   Tue Mar 31 21:20  118/6543  ATM Network Reliability G
   67 tmallory@BBN.COM   Tue Mar 31 21:21  130/7179  ATM Network Reliability G
   68 tmallory@BBN.COM   Tue Mar 31 21:21  122/6755  ATM Network Reliability G
   69 tmallory@BBN.COM   Tue Mar 31 21:21  126/6967  ATM Network Reliability G
   70 tmallory@BBN.COM   Tue Mar 31 21:21  134/7391  ATM Network Reliability G
   71 tmallory@BBN.COM   Tue Mar 31 21:22  138/7603  ATM Network Reliability G
>  72 tmallory@BBN.COM   Tue Mar 31 21:22  142/7815  ATM Network Reliability G
   73 tmallory@BBN.COM   Tue Mar 31 21:23  146/8027  ATM Network Reliability G
   74 tmallory@BBN.COM   Tue Mar 31 21:23  150/8239  ATM Network Reliability G

The variations being due primarily to varying amounts of

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Fred

- - ----- Begin Included Message -----

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Message-Id: <9204010511.AA11948@Sun.COM>
To: atm@Sun.COM, ietf@isi.edu, iplpdn@nri.reston.va.us, tcp-ip@nic.ddn.mil
Subject: ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 92 00:01:50 -0500
From: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>
Status: R

	**************** text deleted *****************

- - ----- End Included Message -----




- ------- Message 14

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 92 09:27:15 PST
From: Bob Hinden <Bob.Hinden@eng.sun.com>
To: Scott Marcus <smarcus@BBN.COM>
Cc: tmallory@BBN.COM
In-Reply-To: <9204011708.AA21210@Sun.COM>
Subject: Re: Problem w/ atm list

Scott,

Good Point!!!

Bob

 > Bob -
 > 
 > Given that the first e-mail that was replicated was the one about
 > viruses attacking our cells, I had thought the replication was
 > intentional!!      ;-)
 > 
 > Regards,
 > -- Scott
 > 
 > >
 > >There was a problem with atm list this morning.  I believe that the
 > >problem is now fixed.  Sorry for any problems this may have caused you.
 > >
 > >Regards,
 > >Bob


- ------- Message 15

Date: 01 Apr 92 17:20 GMT
From: "Stanatek, Jim Hamstra,VCA" <STANATEK@applelink.apple.com>
Subject: Re: cell virus warning
To: TMALLORY@BBN.COM

Tracy,
 
I received five identical copies of your 'cell virus' warning memo (no
fooling).  Is it possible that this virus is invading in the Internet?  Or did
you use the ATM network to send it?  If the latter is true, this may be an
historic message to rival the one that began "Mr. Watson, come here"!
 
Regards,
 
Jim Hamstra,
StanaTek
 


- ------- Message 16

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 92 10:17:45 PST
From: Vince Fuller <vaf@valinor.stanford.edu>
To: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>
Subject: Re: ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert
In-Reply-To: Your message of Wed, 01 Apr 92 00:01:50 -0500

Clever message...

	--Vince


- ------- Message 17

Date: 01 Apr 92 10:59:56+0100
From: Paul Christ <christ@rus.uni-stuttgart.dbp.de>
To: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>
In-Reply-To: <9204010010.aa07622@NRI.Reston.VA.US>
Subject: re:ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert

Tracy,

thnx for your very interestin report which I got as a member of the
IPLPDN list.

Questions:

1. What is the ATM Network Reliability Group? Is this
   a group to become a member of? etc. etc. 

2. Is there a list of the ATM trials you mentioned in your report?

3. Which information etc. is available elsewhere

4. What is BBN doing in the ATM field (what about Craig Partridge AAL)

5. etc.

Backgorund:

The University of Stuttgart Computing Center 'RUS' runs everything
what is 'fast and expensive': 2 Crays, the Gigabit UltraNet, FDDI,
a bunch of circuit switched 140Mbit/s lines out of the 'Forerunner
Broadband Network' of the German Telecom - we carry FDDI traffic over
these lines - across Germany, together with Mercedes Benz and 
Porsche we participate in one of the 2 'SMDS' field trials of the 
Telecom, we are lobbying for participation in the fothcoming German 
ATM field trial, we partipate in 2 european RACE projects in the
spirit of the Gigabit testbeds - aiming at international ATM 
(God bless Europe), we are in contact with FORE systems ... .


Yours

Paul Christ
Communications Systems &
BelWue Coordination
Computing Center
University of Stuttgart



- ------- Message 18

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 92 09:25:48 EST
From: Ken Pogran <pogran@ccq.bbn.com>
Subject: Re: ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert
In-Reply-To: Your message of Wed, 01 Apr 92 00:01:50 -0500
To: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>
Cc: pogran@ccq.bbn.com

Tracy,

I presume that one of the unnamed sources is the well known
researcher, Dr. April Furst, of FourOne Associates?

Ken



- ------- Message 19

From: Thorr Tjorvi Einarsson <tjorvi@suna0.cs.uiuc.edu>
Subject: Re: ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert
To: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 92 12:46:10 CDT
In-Reply-To: <9204010511.AA11948@Sun.COM>; from "Tracy Mallory" at Apr 01, 92 12:01 am

> 
> 
> ATM Network Reliability Group
> San Antonio Rd., Mountain View, CA
> April 1, 1992
> 
> For Immediate Release:
> 
> 		 Possible Cell Virus Attacks ATM Network
> 
> The ATM Network Reliability Group today announced the immediate formation of
> the Cell Behaviour Task Force to address serious problems in several recently
> installed networks based on Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM).  Sometimes known
  .. deleted...
> services, especially for critical functions such as remote banking, and cash
> machine operations in particular.
> 
> Principal Investigator,
> 
> Tracy Mallory
> tmallory@bbn.com
> 


  If this is an april fools joke, then I think that it is not very tacktfull.
Remember the story of the boy who called wolf.  Computer viruses are not a
subject of amusement.
  However if this is for real then it is very serious and I wish you the best of
luck in finding the problem.

tjorvi


- ------- Message 20

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 92 14:32:45 EST
From: Susumu Yoneda <sny@pictor.bellcore.com>
To: tmallory@BBN.COM
Subject: Possible Cell Virus Attacks

Tracy,

Please include me in your mailing list 
regarding ATM Network Reliability Group
activities.

Thank you,

Susumu Yoneda
sny@aries.bellcore.com



- ------- Message 21

To: Thorr Tjorvi Einarsson <tjorvi@suna0.cs.uiuc.edu>
cc: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>
Subject: Re: ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert
In-reply-to: Your message of Wed, 01 Apr 92 12:46:10 -0500.
             <9204011846.AA00473@sunb8.cs.uiuc.edu>
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 92 16:28:43 -0500
From: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>

> > 
> > 
> > ATM Network Reliability Group
> > San Antonio Rd., Mountain View, CA
> > April 1, 1992
> > 
> > For Immediate Release:
> > 
> > 		 Possible Cell Virus Attacks ATM Network
> > 
> > The ATM Network Reliability Group today announced the immediate formation of
> > the Cell Behaviour Task Force to address serious problems in several recently
> > installed networks based on Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM).  Sometimes known
>   .. deleted...

> > services, especially for critical functions such as remote banking, and cash
> > machine operations in particular.
> > 

I apologize if I caused you, or anyone else, to be concerned beyond the end of
the message.  The message was meant to be reasonably realistic for the first
three paragraphs, and then to get progressively more and more unlikely.  Among
the themes of the progression is the suggestion of more and more lifelike
attributes to the situation.  I hoped that the last line (which you left in
your reply) would make the joke clear for anyone that still had lingering
doubts, but realize now that it is based on an American pun: the acronym ATM
is used by the general (North American) public to mean "Automated Teller
Machine", often referred to as a "cash machine" since so many of us use them
primarily for that purpose.

> > Principal Investigator,
> > 
> > Tracy Mallory
> > tmallory@bbn.com
> > 


>   If this is an april fools joke, then I think that it is not very tacktfull.
> Remember the story of the boy who called wolf.  Computer viruses are not a
> subject of amusement.
>   However if this is for real then it is very serious and I wish you the best of
> luck in finding the problem.

> tjorvi

You are correct that viruses are serious, and I had no intention of "crying
wolf", though I believe we can laugh about almost anything, given the right
perspective.  I plead guilty to aiming for an audience that already had some
exposure to Asynchronous Transfer Mode, BISDN, SMDS, etc.  Many of the jokes
can't be understood without such background.  For people in a position to be
thinking about buying or using ATM services, the majority know that the
technology is still basically unavailable, making the warning at the end more
obviously a joke.  Again, without this background information, the message
could seem more real.

I tried to make the April 1 date reasonably prominent.  Also, since there is a
widespread tradition of joke messages on this date, you can rest assured that
any real warning that had to be issued on April 1 would make itself clear.  To
spoof such as overt warning would indeed be crying wolf.  I also carefully
chose the subject of the message so as not to immediately alarm readers.
"WARNING, ATM Virus Loose!" would have violated the "crying wolf" ethic.

Finally, I purposefully included my mail address at the end so that anyone who
was still concerned could contact me directly.  This is only my second reply,
so far, and the other was to a request for more information.  

I would hope that you might try rereading the message with humor in mind.
Even without much background, its easy to laugh about hard-to-read
standards(especially ISO standards), or the comparison of blood typing to
analyzing memory dumps, with the implied comparison of ATM cells to blood
cells.

Again, I apologise for causing you to worry.

Regards,

Tracy


- ------- Message 22

To: Susumu Yoneda <sny@pictor.bellcore.com>
cc: tmallory@BBN.COM
Subject: Re: Possible Cell Virus Attacks
In-reply-to: Your message of Wed, 01 Apr 92 14:32:45 -0500.
             <9204011932.AA00206@pictor.bellcore.com>
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 92 16:45:18 -0500
From: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>

Susumu,

I hope you have already discovered by now that my "report" was only meant to
entertain, and the problems reported have no basis in fact.  The report was
carefully dated April 1st (April Fool's Day) in the body of the message, a day
traditionally used for spoofs and tricks of this sort.  (If your message was
sent with this understanding, then thats a nice turnabout on me :-).

I am actively involved in communications development utilizing ATM, and tried,
perhaps too hard, to put real background facts into a story which plays on the
comparison between ATM cells and living cells.  The line at the end about cash
machines was intended to refer to Automated Teller Machines (=ATM) as a pun.

I hope you might find more humor in the message upon rereading, and that it
did not cause you too much concern.

Regards,

Tracy

> Tracy,

> Please include me in your mailing list 
> regarding ATM Network Reliability Group
> activities.

> Thank you,

> Susumu Yoneda
> sny@aries.bellcore.com




- ------- Message 23

Date: Wed, 1 Apr 92 17:22:49 EST
From: Susumu Yoneda <sny@pictor.bellcore.com>
To: tmallory@BBN.COM
Subject: Re: Possible Cell Virus Attacks

Tracy,

Yes, I know about 4/1 stuff. So, I am very prepared, today.
Even, I don't believe any today's reorganization announcements...

Anyway, I really enjoy reading your "report", and I hope I can
get the next issue or something. So, that is why I send the
other e-mail. However, I really worry about OAM cells, sometime.
I might have forgotten to define a stopping mechanism for some 
OAM cell generations.

Thank you,

- - ----------------------------------------------
              Susumu Yoneda
Bellcore MRE 2J-277     sny@aries.bellcore.com
445 South st.           Tel: (201) 829-4629
Morristown, NJ 07960    FAX: (201) 829-5976
- - ----------------------------------------------


- ------- Message 24

From: Thorr Tjorvi Einarsson <tjorvi@suna0.cs.uiuc.edu>
Subject: Re: ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert
To: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 92 16:09:55 CDT
In-Reply-To: <9204012140.AA12127@suna0.cs.uiuc.edu>; 
             from "Tracy Mallory" at Apr 01, 92 4:28 pm



  Thanks for your apology, although it should be me who apologises.  What ticked
me off was the warning to people to think twice about buying ATM products.
There is actually already an ATM board alvailable from FORE systems, which I am
sure you are aware of.  I am sure if I read your origional message again it 
would be more funny.  Sorry for loosing my head.

tjorvi


- ------- Message 25

Date: Thu, 2 Apr 92 02:41 GMT
From: Henry Sinnreich <0002498337@mcimail.com>
To: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>
Subject: RE: ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert

Tracy,
Thanks for the delightfull note, it made my day.
Henry


- ------- Message 26

Date: Thu, 2 Apr 92 12:17:40 -0500
From: Richard Newman-Wolfe <nemo@chameleon.cis.ufl.edu>
To: tmallory%bbn.com@nervm.nerdc.ufl.edu
Subject: Re:  ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert

Yes - intriguing.  I bet that it is a bug, tho.
Nemo


- ------- Message 27

Date: Fri, 3 Apr 92 11:04:11 EST
From: Masuma Ahmed <mxa@sabre.bellcore.com>
To: tmallory@BBN.COM
Subject: possible cell virus attacks atm network
Cc: mxa@freeze.bellcore.com


Tracy,

It is intriguing to find out the deterioration of ATM network performance
due to OAM cell flows.   It seems that there is a syneregy between the 
problem in the ATM network and the problem occurred in the 
SS7 network last year.   Last year, the congestion in the SS7 network
could also be potentially caused due to network management protocols
and procedures and hence could be caused due to overflow of network management messages.  
I would like to receive more information on the ATM network problem.
Please, send me information on the following issues:

1.  Was it the OAM cell processor which was congested or was it also the
    user cell processor ?

2.  What types of congestion control strategy used to reduce congestion ?
    Were the OAM cells treated as the highest priority traffic and thus
    were not dropped during overload ?

3.  Within the switch, the ATM cells are usually stripped off their
    standard headers and replaced with vendor proprietary headers for
    internal routing within the switch.  Therefore, the buffers 
    containing the ATM cells may not be standard ATM cells.  The
    vendors may use different header identifiers to identify OAM cells
    within the switch.  Please let me know whether that was the case
    for the situation described.   Also, I would like to know whether
    the OAM cells and user cells shared the same buffer.  What stage of
    the switch module (only if it is a multi-stage switch), the buffer
    overflow occurred ?

4.  I would like to know what is meant by the Application Signaling Bit in
    the cell header ?  Note that, the cell header contains information on
    VCI/VPI values, cell loss priority, payload types, GFC, and
    HEC and there is one bit reserved.  


For your information, I am a member of the Broadband group at Bellcore
and I have interest in B-ISDN Operations and Congestion Control.


Masuma Ahmed
mxa@sabre.bellcore.com 


- ------- Message 28

To: Masuma Ahmed <mxa@sabre.bellcore.com>
cc: tmallory@BBN.COM, mxa@freeze.bellcore.com
Subject: Re: possible cell virus attacks atm network
In-reply-to: Your message of Fri, 03 Apr 92 11:04:11 -0500.
             <9204031604.AA01270@freeze>
Date: Fri, 03 Apr 92 13:04:07 -0500
From: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>

Masuma,

Given that it is April 3rd, you may have been less aware than others that my
message was both dated and originally posted on April 1st, and is not a real
report but a carefully contrived story meant to entertain.  I'm sorry to have
led you to believe that there might be some useful information.  I am involved
in development of an ATM based communications device, and know that problem of
congestion and overload due to OAM cells is definitely real, although of
immediate concern only to a very small handful of people such as yourself.
Most of the readers of this message will have found the level of detail a
bit to much, rather than too little.

If you reread the message, you may see more of the humor, especially in the
comparison of ATM cells and their behaviour to living cells.  I hoped that the
mention of a high-school biology teacher would make the joke more obvious, as
would the final reference to cash machines, also known as Automated Teller
Machines (ATMs).

I can answer one question, however:

> 4.  I would like to know what is meant by the Application Signaling Bit in
>     the cell header ?  Note that, the cell header contains information on
>     VCI/VPI values, cell loss priority, payload types, GFC, and
>     HEC and there is one bit reserved.  

The Application Signaling Bit is not actually a bit in the cell header, but a
piece of information conveyed end-to-end.  It is a recent addition, voted at
the CCITT meeting in Melbourne.  The reserved bit has been added to the
payload type, and the 8 code points for the three bit field were redefined to
provide a single bit's worth of end-to-end signalling for the next higher
layer for user traffic.  This signalling can be used for any purpose, but is
first targetted for the new AAL5 which is now in the further-study phase.

Again, I'm sorry for leading you on, and wish that I had more useful
information about real OAM cell issues, ATM products, architectures, etc.

Regards,

Tracy


- ------- Message 29

To: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>
cc: malis@BBN.COM
Subject: Re: OAM cell congestion causes concern
In-reply-to: Your message of Fri, 03 Apr 92 13:20:18 -0500.
Date: Fri, 03 Apr 92 13:39:37 -0500
From: Andy Malis <malis@BBN.COM>

Tracy,

Now that is REALLY funny.

Andy


- ------- Message 30

Date: 5 Apr 92 01:18:00 WET DST
From: John Laws <laws@ccint1.rsre.mod.uk>
Subject: RE: ATM Network Reliability Group Issues Alert
To: tmallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>

Tracy,

Nice one.....even if I'm a bit late in reading it.

The msg could have called "Another variety of Cell Cancer".

John



- ------- Message 31

Date: Mon, 6 Apr 92 15:21:32 EDT
From: Mike Beeler <beeler@BBN.COM>
To: Tracy Mallory <tmallory@BBN.COM>
Subject: Re:  OAM cell congestion causes concern

Tracy,
My compliments.  A very well executed hack!
- - -- Mike


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