[ISN] Cyber-raid hobbles web users

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Oct 10 2001 - 00:40:14 PDT

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    Thousands of internet users were disrupted yesterday after hackers
    forced Telecom to sever its internet link with the outside world.
    It is understood that Telecom cut the link to its United States-based
    internet supplier, AboveNet, about 12.30 pm.
    Full services had been restored by 3 pm.
    During that time 310,000 users of Telecom's Xtra service, as well as
    customers of several other internet providers (ISPs), were unable to
    access overseas web pages.
    The denial-of-service attack - which bombards internet servers with
    spurious requests for information - was similar to those that shut
    down popular United States websites such as Yahoo and Amazon.com this
    The Telecom attack was apparently launched by American hackers.
    Anand Lal, network administrator at internet provider ihug, said the
    attack had affected Xtra and a few small ISPs.
    "We are not affected, but we monitor the internet through simple
    connectivity tests," he said.
    "I'm not aware of the extent of their problems, but parts of Xtra are
    Xtra marketing manager Chris Thompson described the attack as
    reasonably severe, but he refused to give details, claiming this
    information would help the hackers.
    Most customers on the network would have been affected during the
    worst of the attacks, he said.
    Some would not have noticed anything, but they may have experienced
    slight delays. Others would have lost connectivity.
    But Shane Bates, chief executive officer of Auckland web security
    company SecureNet, said this was a major attack on Telecom.
    Switching off the United States internet feed was a panic measure that
    had compromised customers who depended on the web, he said.
    "This is the sort of thing Telecom should be able to handle in 30
    seconds by switching to an alternative feed.
    "It shows a complete lack of planning for what was a relatively
    straightforward occurrence."
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