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Special: Denial of Service round-up

Some of the biggest names in Internet commerce have apparently been brought to their knees by a bunch of not particularly skilled computer crackers
Written by Will Knight, Contributor on

The technique employed to topple these corporate monsters is an old trick that is being used in a nasty new way, so why didn't they see it coming? And what are the implications for e-commerce?

ZDNet looks into these Denial of Service attacks in detail, examining how they were carried out, what the ongoing risks will be, and assessing the possible reverberations in the world of Internet technology and e-commerce.

  • Hackers attack Microsoft site ISP confirms that Microsoft's new Israeli site, www.msn.co.il, was paralysed for an hour during the weekend as a result of a hacker attack. Mon, 06 Mar
  • FBI corners hacker 'Coolio' American youth has PC confiscated by FBI. Fri, 03 Mar
  • Hacker Mitnick testifies before Senate Fresh out of prison, the convicted hacker is the star witness at US Senate hearings on computer security. Fri, 03 Mar
  • Aum cult infiltrates Japanese government computers Government investigation may be 'wake-up call'. Thu, 02 Mar
  • Canadian hacker gets a mauling in legal first A Canadian court sentences computer security consultant for hacking. Wed, 01 Mar
  • Progress slow in hacking probe US officials said on Tuesday that they were making headway in probing a wave of cyber attacks on some of the Internet's flagship sites. Wed, 01 Mar
  • Microsoft goes on a bug hunt In the past week, Microsoft security teams have found themselves facing a sudden flurry of problems. Tue, 29 Feb
  • Another university hit with 'zombie' hacking code Universities are proving an easy target for hackers searching for dupes. Mon, 28 Feb
  • It's time to take a stand You can't stop cyberpunks from launching a distributed Denial of Service attack, but savvy solutions providers can take steps to slow down the aggressors and prevent future raids. Tue, 22 Feb
  • Web attacks: Are ISPs doing enough? Security experts and Net users are becoming increasingly vocal about their concerns that high-speed Internet service providers (ISPs) aren't doing enough to ensure the data security of home users. Tue, 22 Feb
  • What merger? We were hacked! A suspected computer hacker boosted the stock of Aastrom Biosciences on Thursday by posting a fake press release on the company's Web site announcing a merger with California biopharmaceutical company Geron. Fri, 18 Feb
  • Hacker fear scares US government agency offline The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suffered another security embarrassment on Thursday when it shut down its Web site because of fear of computer hacker attacks. Fri, 18 Feb
  • Denial of Service hacker hits MSNBC A hacker implicated in the distributed Denial of Service attacks on a number of high profile Internet sites last week has been involved in attacks on MSNBC's chat server, according to reports. Fri, 18 Feb
  • Has your PC been hijacked? It's 3am. Do you know who's on your computer? Thu, 17 Feb
  • FBI "making progress" in hacker hunt Investigators are focusing on a handful of potential suspects in last week's Web site attacks, Internet security experts and hacker sources familiar with the investigation said on Monday. Wed, 16 Feb
  • Clinton to propose Net security centre As the investigation into last week's Internet attacks continues, the White House is expected to propose a new Internet security centre following a meeting on Tuesday between President Clinton and high-tech executives. Tue, 15 Feb
  • Mixter: I'm going to talk to the FBI The "white-hat" hacker known as Mixter, who is reportedly being sought for questioning by the FBI in conjunction with last week's Web site attacks, expects to talk with the agency within the next 24 hours, he said in an interview on Monday with ZDNet News. Tue, 15 Feb
  • Security firm RSA falls foul to DNS hack The Web site of Internet security company RSA has been effectively defaced by computer criminals apparently keen to make a point about the insecurity of DNS (Domain Name System) authentication. Mon, 14 Feb
  • Network Associates detect Web attack agents Internet security firm Network Associates said on Monday that it had detected each of the three major "Zombie" agents, which have been attacking well known Web sites such as Yahoo! and Amazon.com. Mon, 14 Feb
  • Clinton calls for Internet security summit The White House will convene an Internet-security summit with high-tech industry leaders next week to plot a response to this week's stunning attacks on the Web's most popular sites. Mon, 14 Feb
  • Hacker insurance: it's now all the rage As some of the Web's most heavily trafficked sites fell victim to Denial of Service attacks last week, at least one sector of the burgeoning e-commerce industry had reason to smile. Mon, 14 Feb
  • Mixter: A hunted hacker A hacker, who wrote one of the programs thought to be responsible for last week's Web attacks is being sought by the FBI for questioning, said a source knowledgeable with the investigation. Mon, 14 Feb
  • Hackers derided for e-commerce hoaxes On bulletin boards populated by self-proclaimed hackers, the attackers were derided as "script kiddies" or "packet monkeys", while most suggested "they're not even hackers". Mon, 14 Feb
  • Web attack manhunt "impossible" The FBI might have vowed to bring the "packet warriors" responsible for taking down eight major Web sites to justice, but several Internet security experts remain doubtful the bureau can deliver on that promise. Fri, 11 Feb
  • Net attacks: The UK could be next At 6.30pm (GMT) on Monday, the largest Web site on the Internet, Yahoo.com, was rendered inaccessible by a flood of data peaking at a ferocious 1GB per second. Wed, 10 Feb
  • It's war: The Web under attack! The big picture. What the fuss is all about. What has happened to who, when, and where and how, and not forgetting what they plan to do about it. Wed, 09 Feb
  • How the cyber vandals zapped Yahoo! How were these attacks perpetrated, how can you protect yourself and also avoid becoming an unwitting accomplice in this dastardly activity? Tue, 08 Feb
  • Deconstructing Denial of Service attacks An in-depth assessment of what effect these attacks may have on the technology industry in the long term. Wed, 09 Feb
  • CNN latest victim of Net attackers Hours after the news of outages at Yahoo! and eBay, another huge Internet presence reveals that it has fallen foul of this disturbingly simple attack. Wed, 09 Feb
  • Expert: Attacks 'have to be' connected A security professional draws parallels between attacks on various Web sites and points to a possible sinister connection between them. Wed, 09 Feb
  • Deny this: Big sites should have been ready. Jesse Berst is shouting a big wake up call to Yahoo, eBay and Amazon. Denial of Service attacks aren't new. So how could big sites be this unprepared? Come to AnchorDesk UK with Jesse to find out why this disaster happened and who's to blame. Thu, 10 Feb
  • Net attacks: The UK could be next Everything well and truly kicked off in the US, but what is the threat to Britain's biggest Web sites? Security experts say that British firms should already be shoring up their defences. Thu, 10 Feb
  • The Day Ahead: Hack attacks become branding for Net firms Larry Dignan of ZD Interactive Investor considers the kudos of being targeted for one of these major denial of service attacks. He suggests that companies will soon be using the fact that they have been deemed important enough to be attacked as a marketing ploy. Thu, 10 Feb
  • FBI lead cyber-vandal hunt Attorney General Janet Reno reveals what leads the organisation is following, the nature of the investigation and just what it would like to do to the blighters behind the stunt. Thu, 10 Feb
  • Web attack manhunt 'impossible' The cyber manhunt for the Denial of Service attackers is 'very difficult' if not 'impossible,' security experts say. But can the offender resist bragging? Fri, 11 Feb
  • IT Week: Attacks damage e-traders IT Week considers how the past week's wave of denial-of-service attacks highlights the vulnerability of online traders. Fri, 11 Feb
  • Hackers derided for e-commerce hoaxes Even within the computer hacker community, the group that carried out the raids on major Web sites last week was seen as beneath contempt. Mon, 14th Feb
  • Mixter: A hunted hacker As FBI tracks the author of a program linked to last week's attack, the wanted hacker posts fix-it guidelines to ward off future Web takedowns. Mon, 14th Feb
  • Hack insurance: it's now all the rage The phone has been ringing steadily this week for firms that sell insurance against hacker attacks Mon, 14th Feb
  • Security firm RSA falls foul to DNS hack Another Web attack, this time on encryption security firm RSA Mon, 14th Feb
  • Network Associates detects Web attack agents Security firm discovers three of the agents responsible for last week's denial of service attacks Mon, 14th Feb
  • If you can't trust FBI-issue software... The National Infrastructure Protection Centre's Internet security software is not quite open source Mon, 14th Feb
  • Clinton calls for Internet-security summit As many as 20 top Internet executives are expected to meet with President Clinton, Attorney General Janet Reno and security advisers Tuesday Mon, 14th Feb
  • Author of Web attack tool speaks 'The Net is as susceptible to hack attacks as its weakest parts.' So says 'Mixter,' the hacker who created the tool possibly used in last week's spate of Web attacks Tue, 15th Feb
  • Mixter: I'm going to talk with the FBI In an interview with ZDNN, German hacker says he plans to provide technical aid to US authorities Tue, 15th Feb
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