Monthly Archives: April 2007

DDoS on DNS – Stopping Blackouts

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DDOS on DNS: Stopping Internet blackouts

Writing in National Journal’s Technology Daily, Andrew Noyes discusses the possibility of a massive Internet blackout caused by a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack on the backbone infrastructure of the ‘Net.

This type of high-tech ambush, which occurs when multiple compromised systems flood the bandwidth or resources of a targeted server to make Web pages unavailable, could be devastating for global online communication, said Susan Crawford of the Internet Corporation for Names and Numbers.

The most significant attack in recent years came on Feb. 6, when six of 13 root-zone servers were slammed by an army of “zombie computers,” which were compromised by hackers, the Cardozo Law School professor said at the think tank event.

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Law Firm Increases web Security After Spam Attack

Scottish law firm MacRoberts has improved its online security after suffering a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

The attack at the end of 2006 took the company’s entire inbound and outbound emails out of service for two days.

‘Things ground to a halt very quickly,’ said David Murphy, director of IT at MacRoberts.

‘Mail was trickling in and out and we were getting bombarded with thousands of spam emails.

‘We tried to kick our old security vendor into action but they could not do anything.’

Since the breach, MacRoberts has installed a switched security system from vendor Postini which filters all mail before it reaches the law firm, dramatically reducing the chance of being affected by further attacks.

‘The new system can filter out these attacks as they happen,’ said Murphy.

‘We have suffered attacks since and been fine – all we know of it is a report from Postini saying they have occurred,’ he said.

Previously the firm’s IT staff needed to check thousands of spam emails to ensure genuine messages had not been blocked. The new system has freed up half a day’s work every day.

Graham Titterington, principal analyst at Ovum, says a DDoS attack is a result of many factors.

‘Attacks could be motivated by a competitor looking for advantage, or more likely out of malice towards the law firm,’ he said.