A denial of service attack on security website Zonelabs has been blamed for major disruption of the Internet over the past couple of days.
According to an anonymous NTL employee's posting on www.frogger.uklinux.net,
the DoS attack was launched from 'someone in Eastern Europe': 'NTL was used as a stepping-stone from which an attack on Zonelabs was launched. BT and Pipex were also affected, although not as badly, it would appear.'
We reported yesterday that Telewest's Blueyonder services were being hit by what the company claimed was a network fault. It was later suspected that a damaged undersea transatlantic cable was to blame, but this does not appear to have been the case.
In fact, what occurred seems to be the latest in a series of DoS attacks designed to extort 'protection money' from website owners. Earlier this month we reported that, 'The people behind the attacks demand thousands of pounds to "guarantee" that such attacks won't happen again.
'Understandably, most companies whose website have been subject to DoS attacks are reluctant to come forward as they feel it might damage their businesses. According to the FT, though, a number of US-based gambling sites were among the first targeted but now the problem is becoming a worldwide one.'
The anonymous NTL employee concurs. 'This is the latest in a string of similar attacks originating from the same area,' he said. 'Usually the attacker demands a ransom to ensure that there will be no other attacks. Apparently many companies pay up immediately, rather than risk a loss of revenue incurred when their website (often their main source of income) goes down.'