Dispute Over Cause Of Yahoo Outage : Did hackers or an equipment failure cause the outage?

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Dispute Over Cause Of Yahoo Outage

6:00 am PST, 8 February 2000

There appear to be conflicting reports circulating as to the cause of Monday's 3-hour outage at Yahoo.

As of around 10:30 am PST Monday morning, the Yahoo site, including its free email service, became unreachable from most parts of the Internet. The outage lasted some three hours and when it finally returned, access remained patchy for some time. The official explanation from Yahoo itself was that the problem was caused by a denial of service attack which had been launched against the top-ranking portal site by a person or persons unknown.

7am's own investigations showed that the hub of the matter appeared to be a switch or router connected to the Global Crossing network. This assertion has been supported by reports subsequently carried by Wired in which an engineer from the network provider alleges it was a problem with misconfigured equipment.

The official response from Global Center (a subsidiary of Global Crossing) was that "the global center network is not down. There have been no fiber cuts... this is a specific attack on yahoo by external forces."

Experts consulted by 7am.com claim that from the outside, it can be very difficult to distinguish between a hardware failure in a device such as a router and a denial of service attack and that both the engineer's claims and the "official line" need not be in conflict. An incorrectly configured router can make it far easier for a denial of service attack to cripple a system 7am.com was told.

Monday's outage has raised some concern amongst some businesses who are increasingly relying on the Internet for mission-critical communications and services. The fact that a system, seemingly as large and robust as that operated by Yahoo could be brought down by a simple attack that can be launched by a single person shows the vulnerability of a technology that was originally designed almost 30 years ago.


-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), February 08, 2000


As always...good post Carl!

-- Dee (T1Colt556@aol.com), February 08, 2000.

I can tell you this much. It's hard enough to keep a "site" up, let alone a huge site like Yahoo, even under ideal conditions. It doesn't take much, to really foul things up sometimes.

Part of the reason that I'm a "doomer". <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), February 08, 2000.

YHOO valuation = Ninety-eight thousand million dollars.


-- number six (#@#.com), February 08, 2000.

As of 8:16PM 02/08/00, CNN is reporting Ebay is being hit with it tonight. "Hackers" are being identified as the cause.


-- Wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), February 08, 2000.

Hack attacks hit Web giants Denial-of-service attacks that brought down CNN.com, Yahoo, eBay, Amazon have experts calling the vandals unstoppable By Bob Sullivan MSNBC Feb. 8  A series of attacks against high-profile Web sites has security experts worried that the current assaults are unstoppable. Just one day after overwhelming Yahoo's Web site, computer vandals struck again Tuesday, knocking Amazon.com, Buy.com, CNN and eBay offline. The attacks begged the questions: If these sites are vulnerable, is every site at risk? And who might the next victim be?

-- (just@helping.out), February 09, 2000.

CNN is now reporting that E*Trade and ZDNet are under attack by the hackers.


-- Deb M. (vmcclell@columbus.rr.com), February 09, 2000.

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