Google attacked

Dennis Faas's picture isn't the only web server under attack from hackers as of late.

" Several major web sites, including Yahoo, Microsoft and Google, were inaccessible at times early [Tuesday (06/15/2004), due to an online attack]. The problem began about 9 a.m. Eastern and lasted less than two hours, said Jeff Young, a spokesperson for Akamai Technologies Inc., whose network of servers mirror some of the Web's top destinations to improve their performance. " (1)

Akamai Technologies later confirmed that its network and servers came under 'a sophisticated, large-scale attack' as a result of a [distributed] denial of service DDoS attack. (2)

" ... Gartner research vice president Richard Stiennon told techNewsWorld that the attack displayed the very reason companies with major sites turn to Akamai to handle or help with site traffic. 'Part of the reason for being for Akamai is to defend their customers from denial-of-service attacks,' Stiennon said. 'They've got the infrastructure to support all of these sites, so it's pretty amazing when their customers can actually see outages.'

Stiennon, who told TechNewsWorld that the increased worm activity in recent months can be attributed largely to extortion schemes against sites that need to stay online -- such as gambling sites -- said the Akamai attack might be part of a similar effort.

... 'The question is was this an extortion attempt by some guys to extort money from e-commerce web sites,' Stiennon said. 'Now it's the next level. The gaming sites are getting past it somehow. [Attackers] are now going after companies that provide payment processing for these sites. It's a matter of time before major financial services companies come under attack.'

Stiennon said that the extortion attempts were a particular concern because of their success. 'The disturbing thing is, I hear companies say that they would pay protection money to stay up,' Stiennon said. 'My advice is, they should be thinking about it. If you rely on your Web interface to the world for business, then you definitely need to defend against denial of service attacks.' " (3)

And, had this report only 2 days ago:

" Several of the Internet's major news and information sites were under a denial of service attack [on June 14th], keeping millions of web users from accessing content. The attacks, which began Thursday, caused intermittent outages and slowdowns at web sites such as, and ( and are divisions of the Walt Disney Co.)...

'We have been experiencing some issues with our site today,' said Angela Fisher, a spokeswoman for 'We are currently investigating the source [of the problem].'

A spokeswoman at, however, did confirm that the site's difficulties were due to a deliberate attack. 'We are indeed under a denial of service attack. We first noticed it midday Thursday,' she said

... A source at a major Internet service provider who requested anonymity confirmed the attacks originated in Asia, possibly China. He described the severity of the attacks as 'moderate but sustained.'

Coordinated 'syn attacks' involve hackers using computers to continually send requests to a target's Web server. The requests -- which can number millions of electronic queries within minutes -- eventually overwhelm a target's server and block out legitimate users. Such attacks are easy to launch. But security-savvy web sites can also stop such attacks by identifying the attacking computers and ignoring all requests from those machines. " (4)


Source / References

(1) (2), (3) (4)

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