On February 6, 2007 an attack took place on the Internet which tried to take down the major backbone of the entire Internet. The attack against the root servers, which handles all Internet traffic, wasn’t done by stealthy minded hackers but by people just like us. People who have allowed their systems to be unprotected and that are now being used as soliders for the invading force.

Hard to believe? Will it did happen. Sophos reported yesterday this very story in which they stated:

“These zombie computers could have brought the web to its knees, and while the resilience of the root servers should be commended, more needs to be done to tackle the root of the problem – the lax attitude of some users towards IT security,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. “Society is almost totally reliant on the internet for day-to-day communication – it’s ironic that the people who depend on the web may have been the ones whose computers were secretly trying to bring it down.”

Root servers, which manage the internet’s Domain Name System, help to convert website names such as amazon.com to their numeric IP address – essentially acting as an address book for the internet. UltraDNS, which manages traffic for websites ending with the suffix .org and .info, confirmed that it had witnessed an unusual increase in traffic. In all, three of the 13 servers at the top of the DNS hierarchy are said to have felt the impact of the attack, although none are thought to have stopped working entirely.”

This is a real eye opener since so much of what we do as a society is now tied directly to the Internet. I remember reading where just a single system was controlling some 1.5 million computers, until it was finally shutdown.

Full story here.

[tags]internet, attack, sophos, warning, traffic, [/tags]