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Denial of service attacks are growing faster than bandwidth is being added to the internet, according to VeriSign, the company that administers the dot-com domain.
Criminal groups selling services online are increasingly threatening the fabric of the internet, as the size of the compromised networks of computers they control increases, VeriSign said.
The company claimed that a successful denial of service (DoS) attack against VeriSign could bring down the internet. Ken Silva, VeriSign's chief security officer, said: "There are attacks attempting to shut down our servers. This would effectively shut down the internet."
DoS Attack Could "Shut Down the Internet" [software.silicon.com]
The notion that this is a conspiracy of Russia, China and Romania to take out the Internet stinks of cold war anti-red propaganda once more, or perhaps Verisign just wants GWB to invade?
As I understand it, the Internet is a no-single-point-of-failure network designed (by the US military) to continue functioning when some computers are knocked out.
That's an accurate description of the ARPANet (from which the Internet was derived), but not the Internet.
The ARPANet wasn't designed for commercial or consumer service, competing backbone providers, the present size of the Internet, etc. etc. etc.
That aside, the DNS system has always been the weak point failure-wise, and I assume that's what they are talking about.
Wikipedia gives a good short summary of how close we have come in the past to total failure:
Could anyone shed light on why someone would want to do this?
(1) "Because it's there". The original hacker ethic. (Becoming less and less a motivation over time, though.)
(2) Because they are a Luddite. (A person who opposes the widespread adoption of technology.) Witness the Unibomber. Heck, he already has computer exploits named after him.
(3) For political motives, short of war, by groups, individuals, countries, opposed to policies of industrialized nations, or to bring attention to a political statement.
(4) Because of the confusion and hindrance of communication it would bring in wartime. Any party in a major war might want to do this.
(5) For huge financial gain. See (3-4) for potential customers.
I'm sure we can fill this out to at least an even dozen.