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Saturday, 26 February, 2000, 10:28 GMT
Web hackers strike again
FBI website
FBI site: Down for about an hour
Several more leading websites are reported to have been attacked by hackers.

Among the latest victims of the electronic vandals are the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Microsoft.

The FBI has admitted that hackers shut down its site for more than three hours on 18 February in the same type of assault, called a denial of service attack, that disrupted other websites.

In each case, large amounts of data traffic are sent to a site, stopping other users from accessing them.

The attack is an embarrassment for the FBI which is investigating the attacks against Yahoo, eBay, Amazon.com and others.

Attack facts
Software 'daemons' hidden on hundreds of computers
Signal tells them to bombard a site with requests
Volume of internet traffic paralyses site
Daemons give false addresses
Last week, it said that it did not know for sure whether the problem was a technical fault or a malicious attack.

But FBI spokeswoman Deborah Weierman confirmed on Friday that vandals were responsible.

"The FBI has made comments they're going to find who's responsible for the latest attacks, so it's a bit of war between the hackers and the bureau," said James Williams, a Chicago lawyer and former FBI agent who specialised in investigating computer crimes.

Microsoft 'fended off attack'

The attack on Microsoft.com happened on Tuesday, but the software giant said it was able to keep the site live.

"Due to the security measures in place already and a very quick response by the Microsoft.com team, service was not interrupted and no servers were brought down," said Microsoft spokesman Tom Pilla.

"Some customers may have seen some slowdowns on certain pages for a short period of time, but the site remained available during the incident."

A third site, the National Discount Brokers Group, (NDB), also appears to have been attacked.

Its site was down for more than an hour on Thursday, NDB company Chairman Dennis Marino told ABCNEWS.com.

The company, which has 200,000 customers, said it lost about 25% of its sales due to an enormous amount of traffic from two internet addresses.

Mr Marino said his company turned over its data to the FBI, but he added it was too early to tell whether the attack was related to the previous assaults.

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See also:

13 Feb 00 |  Sci/Tech
Hacker inquiry leads to Germany
11 Feb 00 |  UK
A - Z: Hack attack
10 Feb 00 |  Business
Beating the hacker attack
06 Sep 99 |  e-cyclopedia
Cracking: Hackers turn nasty
16 Feb 00 |  Sci/Tech
When states go to cyber-war
11 Feb 00 |  Sci/Tech
Security answers to cyber attack
10 Feb 00 |  Business
How the web was wounded
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