Internet Servers Handle Major Global Attack

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
Washington Post
February 7, 2007
Pg. D3

By Ted Bridis, Associated Press
Hackers briefly overwhelmed at least three of the 13 computers that help manage global computer traffic yesterday in one of the most significant attacks against the Internet since 2002.
Experts said the unusually powerful attacks lasted as long as 12 hours but passed largely unnoticed by most computer users, a testament to the resiliency of the Internet. Behind the scenes, computer scientists worldwide raced to cope with enormous volumes of data that threatened to saturate some of the Internet's most vital pipelines.
The motive for the attacks was unclear, said Duane Wessels, a researcher at the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis at the Supercomputing Center in San Diego. Wessels said that it was "maybe to show off or just be disruptive; it doesn't seem to be extortion or anything like that."
Other experts said the hackers appeared to disguise their origin, but vast amounts of rogue data in the attacks were traced to South Korea.
The attacks appeared to target UltraDNS, the company that operates servers managing traffic for Web sites ending in "org" and some other suffixes, experts said. Officials with Sterling-based NeuStar, which owns UltraDNS, confirmed only that it had observed an unusual increase in traffic.
Among the targeted "root" servers that manage global Internet traffic were ones operated by the Defense Department and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the Internet's primary oversight body.
"There was what appears to be some form of attack during the night hours here in California and into the morning," said John Crain, chief technical officer for ICANN. He said the attack was continuing and so was the hunt for its origin.
"I don't think anybody has the full picture," Crain said. "We're looking at the data."
Crain said yesterday's attack was less serious than attacks against the same 13 root servers in October 2002 because technology innovations in recent years have increasingly distributed their workloads to other computers around the globe.
Probably a bunch of Korean teens pissed off because their MMORPG server went down...
My guess is China, as we discussed on these forums China has been experimenting with all sorts of new weapons, anti-satellite missiles, lasers designed to permanently blind enemy troops, other things of these sorts. My class spent some time discussing how China is attempting to gain more and more control over the internet, not just in their country, but the internet as a whole. Right now the United States (supposedly) has almost unlimited control over the internet, I disagree because the internet is too big for any one nation to control, while most the land lines might go through the US there are several nations with their own network of satellites in space through which their communications go. But even with China's recent aggressiveness in persuing and testing such weapons, I think to try and test something like this is a bit... extreme on their part which is why I think they are the most likely GOVERNMENT to have done this, but that doesn't mean I think it likely. If someone crashed the internet the results would be disastrous worldwide, we're talking the start of another world wide depression even if it only goes down for a matter of hours. My guess is it was some Korean kid who averages 7,000 clicks per minutes on his mouse and thought he was playing Pac Man online and didn't realise that he was actually hacking the internet.
I'm taking bets on the origin. China pays 1:1 ;)

Clearly Russia and China are two of the top countries because they have more developed capabilities, but it may not be in their interest to use cyber attacks for strategic attacks ends. Both countries have worked on doctrine and there is some evidence that they are incorporating it into their military training as well.

Many may not know it but China and the United States have been at war — not with soldiers or bombs, but rather with geeks and computers. In May, American computer hackers mounted attacks on Chinese Web sites and their Chinese counterparts began retaliating in earnest. The "cyberwar," so far, has been pretty tame. That could change, however.

And in each case, the road leads back to China. Every IP address involved in the scheme, from the originating SMTP hosts to the "document collector" hosts, are all based there, mostly in the Tianjin province."

China and the U.S. Naval War College in the News: Pesky Chinese computer hackers penetrated the Naval War College network earlier this month. Navy officials said the attack was detected November 15th, and two days later, the U.S. Strategic Command raised the security alert level for the Pentagon’s 12,000 computer networks and 5 million computers.
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On Tuesday, the 13 servers that help manage worldwide Internet traffic were hit by a denial-of-service attack that nearly took down three of them. Analysts say the hackers' used possibly millions of zombie computers to wage the attack -- and they expect that army is populated with the desktops and laptops of unknowing users around the world.

The plot thickens.