An Internet Hack That Lasted 12 Hours
On February 6, 2007, hackers launched an unprecedented attack on the Internet. It was so powerful that it stayed for a significant duration of twelve hours. Surprisingly most Internet users failed to notice the attack. Computer experts worldwide got busy trying to cope with the threat over the unusual volumes of data that were at risk of slipping from the legitimate pipelines into unknown hands.
Experts said the hackers masked their actual origin although large amounts of bogus data followed course to South Korea.
The attack seemed to concentrate on the Domain Name System, which pairs the text-based domain names to the actual IP address represented numerically on the servers that work by using the Internet. Many prominent DNS servers found Internet traffic to spiral up on February 6th morning. Experts describe it a sign of a severe attack.
DNS servers are called the address books for the Internet. At the top of the DNS hierarchy, 13 official key DNS servers position themselves. When other DNS servers like those belonging to an ISP do not get the exact IP address for a particular website, explanation is sought from these key or 'root' servers.
If any part of the DNS system collapses, visitors cannot reach the websites just as e-mails cannot reach the right destination. But DNS are characteristically resilient and therefore attacks on the system are rarely successful.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security set to monitor the 'anomalous' Internet junk, reported The Associated Press. However, the department did not find any clue to a possible threat to U.S. security or computer systems. The U.S. Department of Defense operates some of the targeted root servers.
There is no clarity about the motive behind the attacks, said Duane Wessels, a researcher at the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis at the San Diego Supercomputing Center. It could be just that the attacker was flaunting his skills or causing disrupting; but not attempting extortion of any kind, Wessels said.
While according to ICANN and Symantec, the attacks did not make substantial impact on the Internet, ISP, Neustar did find a slackening in the Internet speed.
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» SPAMfighter News - 12-02-2007