DDOS attack takes out Internet root servers

— 2:58 AM on October 23, 2002

Earlier this week, nine of the Internet's 13 root servers were crippled by what is being described as a large-scale denial of service attack. The attack only lasted an hour, but it pounded servers with 30-40 times their normal traffic. Luckily, despite the attack's ferocity, there wasn't a noticeable slowdown in overall Internet traffic. Wired reports:

Monday's attack wasn't more disruptive because many Internet providers and large corporations and organizations routinely store, or "cache," popular Web directory information for better performance.
The article goes on to point out that Internet service can slow if only four root servers are disabled for any significant period of time, which makes the attack's successful impairment of nine servers especially disturbing.

It looks like the fact that the attack stopped quickly, and on its own, is the primary reason why there wasn't a major disruption in service. Maybe it's just me, but that doesn't instill a whole lot of confidence for a quick resolution if someone with a little more stamina decides to take a shot at these servers.

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