Hackers hacked three root servers that manage global computer traffic

Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

Hackers briefly overwhelmed at least three of the 13 computers--root servers--that help manage global computer traffic on February 6, in one of the most significant attacks against the Internet since 2002. Experts said the attacks were unusually powerful but they passed largely unnoticed by most computer users, a testament to the resiliency of the Internet.

The motive for the attacks was unclear, said Duane Wessels, a researcher at the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis at the San Diego Supercomputing Center. Other experts said the hackers appeared to disguise their origin, but vast amounts of rogue data in the attacks were traced to South Korea. Among the targeted "root" servers that manage global Internet traffic were ones operated by the us Defense Department and the Internet's primary oversight body, icann. "There was some form of attack here in California," said John Crain, icann's chief technical officer. "I don't think anybody has the full picture."

Crain said the attack was less serious than those against the same servers in 2002 because of increasingly distributed workloads to other computers.

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