CNN Web sites go down for almost an hour : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Posted at 2:45 p.m. PST Friday, Jan. 26, 2001

CNN Web sites go down for almost an hour NEW YORK (Reuters) - AOL Time Warner Inc.'s and sites were down for ``less than an hour'' Friday shortly after noon Eastern time due to an internal problem, not a hacker attack, a CNN spokeswoman said.

The sites for the company's 24-hour news network, its financial channel and sports channel ( and (, were up and running again at 1.30 p.m., said Edna Johnson, a CNN spokeswoman.

The company was still investigating whether the problem was caused by internal human error but has ruled out that it was a victim of a hacker attack, Johnson said.

``Suddenly it was dead,'' said Eric Siegel, a consultant with Keynote Systems Inc. , a San Mateo company which measures Web site performance around CNN's sites. ``That sort of traffic stoppage doesn't indicate a denial of service attack, which is more gradual.''

Hacker attacks brought down some of the Web sites of software giant Microsoft Corp. ) Thursday. Hackers pounded some routers -- or the equipment that directs Web surfers to a site, at Microsoft with a denial-of service attack, which floods a system with so much data that legitimate traffic is either slowed or halted.

-- Martin Thompson (, January 26, 2001


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Gates empire hit by new hacker assault

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Jane Martinson in New York Saturday January 27, 2001

The FBI is investigating a damaging computer assault on Microsoft after hackers overwhelmed the company's connection to the internet, leading to the closure of several popular websites such as and

The attack comes after a difficult week for the Seattle-based company. Its services, used by millions of people and businesses, also broke down for two days this week because of a technical error, prompting complaints from across the globe. Microsoft said the two problems were unrelated.

The company called in the FBI yesterday when it realised that its system was the victim of a "denial-of-service" attack on Thursday. Hackers had managed to overwhelm the company's extensive network with so much fake traffic that legitimate users were blocked. This increasingly common form of hacking is described as similar to hundreds of people calling one telephone line.

The company said in a statement: "It is unfortunate that an individual or group of individuals would engage in this kind of illegal activity."

Microsoft blamed its earlier problems, which knocked out its main corporate site and its portal, on employee error. Complaints flooded in after the company's websites started producing unexpected results. For example, the central clock on Asheron's Call, a multiplayer role-playing game hosted on Microsoft's gaming zone, started to go backwards.

Microsoft said a technician made a "mistaken configuration change" to the computers that guide web surfers to its sites.

The Seattle-based company was subject to a daring hacker assault last October. Although the case is still under investigation, it emerged that the unidentified intruders had been able to study Microsoft's network unobserved for six weeks. Using stolen passwords, they then used Microsoft's Hotmail service to send snippets of the company's source code to an email address in Russia.

-- Rachel Gibson (, January 27, 2001.

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