FBI investigating new Web attack

By Robert Lemos, ZDNN
April 25, 2000 4:38 PM PT
URL: http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2555422,00.html

Top-five Internet service provider AboveNet Communications suffered a denial-of-service attack on Tuesday -- raising the specter of another round of Web attacks.

Paul Vixie, senior vice president of Internet services for Metromedia Fiber Network Inc., AboveNet's parent company, said the attack did not resemble February's spate of DoS attacks.

"This was not just a SMURF attack or some other broadcast storm aiming meaningless data at our routers," Vixie said. "It was a direct attack on our infrastructure."

The attack stopped Internet traffic to AboveNet's customers for several hours starting late Tuesday morning.

The White Plains, N.Y., company is working with the FBI to investigate the attack and declined to give more-specific details. Vixie did say that tracking the attacker should not be as difficult as February's DoS attacks had been. "Technically, there is cause for hope, where in the (denial of service) case their was no cause for hope," he said.

Last week, a 15-year-old Canadian boy who called himself "Mafiaboy" online was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and charged in connection with the denial-of-service attack on CNN's online site in February.

The teen, whose name was not released due to his age, was arrested April 15 and formally charged two days later with two counts of mischief to data after police searched his home. No suspects have been named in the attacks on at least seven other sites, however.

AboveNet attack more skilled

This attacker seemed a bit more skilled than the cybervandals who flooded eight major Web sites in February, Vixie said. "I would bet that this was someone with a little more experience than the last batch."

AboveNet provides Internet service of and hosts the Web sites of nearly 1,000 companies, with offices in the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Japan.

Vixie said Tuesday's attack could not succeed again. "We plugged the hole that has allowed it to happen," he said.



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