FBI investigating new Web attack

AboveNet hit by a Denial-of-Service attack - blocking customers' Web access for hours. 'It was a direct attack on our infrastructure.'

Top-5 Internet service provider AboveNet Communications suffered a Denial-of-Service attack Tuesday morning -- raising the specter of another round of Web attacks.

According to Paul Vixie, senior vice president of Internet services for Metromedia Fiber Network , AboveNet's parent company, the attack did not resemble the February Denial-of-Service attacks.

"This was not just a SMURF attack or some other broadcast storm aiming meaningless data at our routers," he said. "It was a direct attack on our infrastructure."

The attack stopped Internet traffic to AboveNet's customers for several hours, starting late Tuesday morning.

The White Plains, New York-based company is working with the FBI to investigate the attack, and declined to give more specific details. Vixie did say that tracking the attacker should not be as difficult as February's denial-of-service attacks had been. "Technically, there is cause for hope, where in the (Denial-of-Service) case their was no cause for hope," he said.

Last week, a 15-year-old Canadian boy -- who called himself "Mafiaboy" online -- was arrested by law enforcement agencies from the United States and Canada. The charged him with the Denial-of-Service attack on CNN's online site in February.

The teen, whose name was not released due to his age, was arrested April 15 and formally charged two days later with two counts of mischief to data, after police searched his house. No suspects have been named in the attacks on at least seven other sites.

This attacker seemed a bit more skilled than the cybervandals who flooded eight major Web sites in February, Vixie added. "I would bet that this was someone with a little more experience than the last batch."

AboveNet provides Internet service of and hosts the Web sites of nearly 1,000 companies, with offices in countries such as London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Japan.

Vixie said that specific attack could not succeed again. "We plugged the hole that has allowed it to happen," he said.

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