[EAS]Root Server Attack

pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Fri Oct 25 01:55:41 EDT 2002

Subject:   Root Server Attack

(from Edupage, October 23, 2002)

Monday afternoon a cyberattack took down 9 of the 13 root servers of
the Internet, but the attack went unnoticed by the majority of
Internet users because of measures taken to address the attack and
because of its relatively short duration. Louis Touton, vice
president for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and
Numbers, said, "As best we can tell, no user noticed and the attack
was dealt with and life goes on." The attack flooded targeted
servers with 30 to 40 times the usual amount of traffic, causing
seven to fail and two others to fail intermittently. One observer
commented that this was the most significant attack of its kind
since the Internet began operating. The FBI is investigating the
attack, though the source is not yet known. CNN, 23 October 2002

What's a root server, you ask? From e.g.

> On the Internet, the root server system is the way that an
> authoritative master list of all top-level domain names (such as
> com, net, org, and individual country codes) is maintained and made
> available to all routers. The system consists of 13 file servers.
> The central or "A" server is operated by Network Solutions, Inc.,
> the company that originally managed all domain name registration,
> and the master list of top-level domain (TLD) names is kept on the A
> server. On a daily basis, this list is replicated to 12 other
> geographically dispersed file servers that are maintained by an
> assortment of agencies. The Internet routing system uses the nearest
> root server list to update routing tables. 


More information about the EAS-INFO mailing list