Yahoo! News News Home - Yahoo! - Help

 Welcome, guest Personalize News Home Page   -   Sign Out 
Yahoo! News   Tue, Oct 22, 2002
Search    for     Advanced
News Front Page
Top Stories
   White House
   U.S. Government
   Supreme Court
   Press Releases
Oddly Enough
News Photos
Most Popular
Full Coverage

Full Coverage
More about
Hackers and Crackers
Related News Stories
• Attack On Internet Called Largest Ever Washington Post (Oct 22, 2002)
• Net backbone withstands major attack IDG.NET (Oct 22, 2002)
• Powerful attack cripples majority of key Internet computers Associated Press (Oct 22, 2002)
Opinion & Editorials
• Antiterrorist Software Christian Science Monitor (Sep 23, 2002)
• Cybersecurity plan lacks muscle (Sep 19, 2002)
• The myth of cybersecurity (Sep 14, 2002)
Feature Articles
• Could a Worm Take Over the Net in Minutes? PC World/Yahoo! News (Oct 22, 2002)
• Light holds key to uncrackable codes BBC (Oct 3, 2002)

News Resources
News Alerts
  President George W. Bush

Politics Tools
· Register to Vote
Enter Your ZIP Code to
Find a Candidate:

or Search by State
· Issues & Action
Scroll to select issue area
· Elected Officials
Enter Your ZIP Code:

or Search by State
· Contact The Media
Enter Your ZIP Code:

or Search by State

Links and services provided by Capitol Advantage

AP World Politics
Powerful attack cripples majority of key Internet computers
Tue Oct 22, 7:30 PM ET

By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - An unusually powerful electronic attack briefly crippled nine of the 13 computer servers that manage global Internet traffic this week, officials disclosed Tuesday. But most Internet users didn't notice because the attack only lasted one hour.

The FBI (news - web sites) and White House were investigating. One official described the attack Monday as the most sophisticated and large-scale assault against these crucial computers in the history of the Internet. The origin of the attack was not known.

Seven of the 13 servers failed to respond to legitimate network traffic and two others failed intermittently during the attack, officials confirmed.

The FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center was "aware of the denial of service attack and is addressing this matter," spokesman Steven Berry said.

Service was restored after experts enacted defensive measures and the attack suddenly stopped.

The 13 computers are spread geographically across the globe as precaution against physical disasters and operated by U.S. government agencies, universities, corporations and private organizations.

"As best we can tell, no user noticed and the attack was dealt with and life goes on," said Louis Touton, vice president for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the Internet's key governing body.

Brian O'Shaughnessy, a spokesman for VeriSign Inc., which operates two of the 13 computers in northern Virginia, said "these sorts of attacks will happen."

"We were prepared, we responded quickly," O'Shaughnessy said. "We proactively cooperated with our fellow root server operators and the appropriate authorities."

Computer experts who manage some of the affected computers, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they were cooperating with the White House through its Office of Homeland Security and the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board.

Richard Clarke, President George W. Bush (news - web sites)'s top cyber-security adviser and head of the protection board, has warned for months that an attack against the Internet's 13 so-called root server computers could be dramatically disruptive.

These experts said the attack, which started about 2045 GMT Monday, transmitted data to each targeted root server 30 to 40 times normal amounts. One said that just one additional failure would have disrupted e-mails and Web browsing across parts of the Internet.

Monday's attack wasn't more disruptive because many Internet providers and large corporations and organizations routinely store, or "cache," popular Web directory information for better performance.

"The Internet was designed to be able to take outages, but when you take the root servers out, you don't know how long you can work without them," said Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, a security organization based in Bethesda, Maryland.

Although the Internet theoretically can operate with only a single root server, its performance would slow if more than four root servers failed for any appreciable length of time.

In August 2000, four of the 13 root servers failed for a brief period because of a technical glitch.

A more serious problem involving root servers occurred in July 1997 after experts transferred a garbled directory list to seven root servers and failed to correct the problem for four hours. Traffic on much of the Internet ground to a halt.

< Previous Story
Mail to Friend  Email Story
Printer Version  Print Story
Next Story >

Message Boards Message Boards: Post/Read Msgs (14 msg Oct 22, 10:41 PM ET)

Ratings: Would you recommend this story? New
Not at all 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 Highly

Search:    for     Advanced

More Politics Stories
· Bush Seeks to 'Crank Up' Republican Vote in Maine  (Reuters)
· 'Orgy of negativity' has many voters disgusted  (USA TODAY)
· Special Interests Add $1B Since 1990   (AP)
· U.S. Signals Patience Ebbing on U.N. Iraq Talks  (Reuters)
· 'Soul brother' Clinton on road for fundraising  (USA TODAY)

 Shopping for a new car? ADVERTISEMENT
Get a free price quote from a dealer in your area. No obligation, no hassle.
Chevy Truck

· Access Your PC from Anywhere - Free Download
· 10 Dangerous Intersections
· SUV Crash Tests
· Don't miss your chance! Refinance
· TD Waterhouse-Special Offer
· Web hosting. Best quality, 24/7 toll free support. Lowest prices.
· Planning to Sell Your Home? Compare REALTORS® Now!
· $8.95 Domain Name Registrations & $7.75 Transfers at
· $7.95 Domain Name Registrations & Transfers at Aplus.Net!

Politics Tools
Elected Officials Issues & Action Politics Extras
Enter Your ZIP Code:

or Search by State
Select An Issue Area:

Letters To Leaders - The pulse of the nation
Federal Agencies - Cabinet officials, departments and agencies

Links and services provided by Capitol Advantage.


• Daily Emails
• Free News Alerts

Copyright © 2002 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
Copyright © 2002 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
Questions or Comments
Privacy Policy -Terms of Service