Hacker Cripples Major Web Sites and Reveals Internet Vulnerability (Great Events: 1900-2001)
Article abstract: Spurious computer signals generated by a hacker known as “mafiaboy” clogged the network connections to Yahoo! and other commercial Internet sites, making it impossible for legitimate users to log on.
The Coming of the Script Kiddies
February 7, 2000, marked a disturbing new chapter in the history of computer security, with the disruption of a number of important commercial Internet sites by a hacker. Web surfers visiting such important sites as Yahoo!, CNN.com, eBay, and Amazon.com were unable to complete their connections, sometimes for hours. They were facing the Internet equivalent of a traffic jam; however, it was one in which the crowds of users clogging the system were phantoms.
Before this point, hackers were generally perceived as bright young people who had mastered the inner workings of computer systems and generally were exploring others’ equipment out of curiosity without any real understanding of the disruption they caused. A few more malicious individuals used their knowledge to damage data or to write viruses, destructive software that could replicate itself on vulnerable systems. Protective measures against hackers had concentrated primarily on maintaining the security of password files and logon procedures, as well as the creation of software to prevent the spread of viruses.
The February 7 attack used the connectivity of the Internet to enlist a large...
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