Internet survives concerted attack

Published on: 14/02/2007

Another attempt to shut down the Internet addressing service fails.

As far as we are aware nobody noticed but in the early hours of Tuesday three key address servers were hit by a "distributed denial-of-service" attack Hackers bombarded the servers concerned with demands for addressing information. Three years ago a similar attack was more successful, though it failed to shut down the service. This time the attack centred on three of ten key address servers. The effect of stopping the Internet would be very impressive, with many, MANY financial services likely to be shut down. The impact would most likely be fatal as well, with countless numbers of people relying on Internet based services for medical and support services.

Well, the Internet was designed to withstand nuclear attacks, so it is comforting to see it coped this time.

The servers under attack were each operated by;

1. The US Defense Department

2. ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and

3. UltraDNS.

The fact that the attack remained invisible to users is being hailed as a success. The system demonstrated the benefits of being dispersed and interoperable, with no single point of failure. If a part of the DNS system went down it would mean websites could be unreachable and e-mail undeliverable.