By Tom Krazit
December 23, 2009
An attack directed at the DNS provider for some of the Internet's larger
e-commerce companies -- including Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Expedia -- took
several Internet shopping sites offline Wednesday evening, two days
Neustar, the company that provides DNS services under the UltraDNS brand
name, confirmed an attack took place Wednesday afternoon, taking out
sites or rendering them extremely sluggish for about an hour. A
representative who answered the customer support line said the attacks
were directed against Neustar facilities in Palo Alto and San Jose,
Calif., and Allen Goldberg, vice president of corporate communications
for Neustar, confirmed that at about 4:45 p.m. PST, "our alarms went
Goldberg said the company received a disproportionately high number of
queries coming into the system, and analyzed it as an attack. Neustar
deployed "a mitigation response" within minutes of the attack, he said,
and brought matters under control within an hour. The response limited
the problems to Northern California, he said.
In addition to the high-profile sites, dozens of smaller sites that rely
upon Amazon for Web-hosting services were also taken down by the attack.
Amazon's S3 and EC2 services were affected by the problems, according to
Jeff Barr, Amazon's lead Web Evangelist, who retweeted a report to that
effect without clarification and confirmed it in later tweets.
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