Re: Losing Communications with the Mount

Dale Ghent

Ah, you are referring to buffers in a generic sense. But really, ARM CPUs (which is a huge and widely varied arch) have nothing intrinsic to them that magically makes them more or less susceptible to network attacks. Low power ARM cores are used in a lot of embedded applications so I think this is guilt by association.

Embedded systems are certainly and usually more memory constrained and have a more finite amount of space to store connection state, packet data, cached data and information, and all the other stuff that one finds in IP stacks. But there are also modern methods to deal with this exhaustion that doesn't bring down the entire house. Things might get slow, but "don't die" is pretty much the policy of everything since, well, forever.

Luckily, the rapid rise of embedded systems in consumer IoT and networked industrial system have brought a lot of security scrutiny to the common embedded OSes that give these bits of hardware life. The embedded OS vendors have had a LOT of catching up to do, both in terms of their code quality and their policies around opening up to the security community when it comes to reporting and dealing with found security holes. Some are in great shape, others are still stuck in their opaque ways.

On May 6, 2021, at 22:12, Christopher Erickson <> wrote:

When I commented about possible comm buffer overflows, I was speaking from the perspective of an embedded (controller, microcontroller) programmer, not as a LAN/WAN administrator or IP wonk. Non-programmers have no access to or awareness of comm buffers and such and don't need to worry about them. Embedded programmers do.

Many types of DoS (Denial of Service) attacks are specifically crafted to exploit various hardware and software buffer limitations and overflows scenarios.

-Christopher Erickson
Observatory Engineer
Summit Kinetics
Waikoloa, Hawaii

On Thu, May 6, 2021 at 3:18 PM Dale Ghent <> wrote:

On May 6, 2021, at 19:50, Christopher Erickson <> wrote:

Certain kinds of broadcast storms are known to disrupt LAN communications with certain ARM processors via comm buffer overflows, depending on the status of a multitude of various internal variables.
What on earth are you even talking about. Comm buffer overflow? Broadcast storms due to certain ARM processors? This makes -zero- sense.

- Someone who actually works on OS IP stack code

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