After Threats, No Signs Of Attack By Hackers
A threat to attack a crucial part of the Internet on Saturday by members of the mercurial, leaderless hacker collective calledAnonymous appears to have had no discernible impact so far.
By Saturday morning in the Eastern United States, and well into the evening in Asia, there were no major signs of an attack, said several people monitoring the Domain Name System. Some Anonymous hackers had threatened six weeks ago to attack that system, which converts domain names like google.com into numeric addresses that computers use. It led to a quiet global multimillion-dollar effort to strengthen the Domain Name System in recent weeks.
“This is kind of anticlimactic,” said Bill Woodcock, whose nonprofit Packet Clearing House has been part of that campaign. “That was kind of the goal.”
One person monitoring traffic over one of the 13 root servers that are part of the Domain Name System said there was only a five-minute spike in traffic at midnight Greenwich Mean Time after which network traffic seemed to have subsided; the person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the delicate nature of his job to maintain Internet infrastructure.
The effects of a sustained attack on the Domain Name System can be felt only after several days, when parts of the system would be impaired by very heavy flow of network data.
On Twitter, which is what the hackers affiliated with Anonymous use as a soapbox to spread their message, there was little chatter Saturday about the prospective attack. Instead, Anonymous called on its student supporters to put on masks and register their protest against restrictions on freedom of speech. “Anonymous challenges you to gather your friends and to show your support by wearing a mask, educating your friends about their rights and showing your teachers that school is a place of learning and expression,” itannounced on one of its blogs.