Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Technology

Avoiding the next Big Hack Attack

By Fenella SaundersMay 1, 2000 5:00 AM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

When hackers nearly shut down eBay, Yahoo!, and several other large Internet sites a couple of months ago, they exploited an old security flaw, one well-known to network insiders. Now Felix Wu, a computer scientist at North Carolina State University, has devised software that would fix the problem without compromising the Internet's freewheeling structure.

In the recent assaults, hackers broke into networked computers and programmed them to overwhelm target Web sites with spurious traffic. Defending against such a barrage requires a coordinated effort by Internet service providers--but at present they have little incentive for cooperative vigilance.

Using Wu's program, an Internet server under attack can check with all its partnered servers to see which one forwarded the rogue traffic. That partner can then perform ever-finer internal checks until the culprit is identified. If the cooperating servers determine the attack did not originate with any of them, they can simply deny all access to noncooperating servers and so remain secure. Wu will release a free prototype of his software to the public later this year.

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In