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Porn site feud spawns new DNS attack

Porn site feud spawns new DNS attack
Porn site feud spawns new DNS attack 

By Robert McMillan
IDG News Service 

A scrap between two pornographic Web sites turned nasty when one figured 
out how to take down the other by exploiting a previously unknown quirk 
in the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS).

The attack is known as DNS Amplification. It has been used sporadically 
since December, but it started getting talked about last month when 
ISPrime, a small New York Internet service provider, started getting hit 
hard with what's known as a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack. 
The attack was launched by the operator of a pornographic Web site who 
was trying to shut down a competitor, hosted on ISPrime's network, 
according to Phil Rosenthal, the company's chief technology officer.

The attack on ISPrime started on the morning of Sunday, Jan. 18. It 
lasted about a day, but what was remarkable was that a relatively small 
number of PCs were able to generate a very large amount of traffic on 
the network.

One day later, a similar attack followed, lasting three days. Before 
ISPrime was able to filter the unwanted traffic, attackers were able to 
use up about 5GB/second of the company's bandwidth,

With a bit of work, Rosenthal's staff was able to filter out the hostile 
traffic, but in an e-mail interview he said that the attack "represents 
a disturbing trend in the sophistication of denial of service attacks."


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