net neutrality

N00ter Keeps ISPs In Line Over Net Neutrality

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It may be a while before Congress & Friends get this whole Net Neutrality debate squared away. But that’s no biggie, since Dan Kaminsky has cooked up his own little solution to figure out if your ISP is throttling service. It’s called N00ter, short for neutral rooter, and Kaminsky showed it off for the first time at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, reports Forbes.

Here’s how it works: N00ter scopes out whether or not an ISP is artificially slowing down or boosting traffic to and from a specific site. It basically acts as a VPN, sending traffic through a proxy and masking its source and desired destination. However unlike a VPN, the traffic isn’t encrypted. It’s spoofed on its way from the site to the user, appearing to come from any old web site that the user may want to test. Then the user can compare those speeds with the ones seen on a non-spoofed connection to check if the ISP is in fact slowing down access to the site. Kaminsky also accounted for the possibility that an ISP may try to trick N00ter by building a complementary tool he calls Roto-N00ter, which spoofs traffic flowing in the other direction.

What’s interesting is that Kaminsky wasn’t ready to rat out any already-caught ISPs. “I would never embarrass my friends the ISPs,” Kaminsky remarked. “I’m just warning them now not to do anything you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of a newspaper.” Well, there you have it, ISPs. N00ter is out in the world, and in the words of Kaminsky: “We will find you out. And we will find out in a way that’s incontrovertible.”