Net attacks: Internet pioneer predicted outages in 2000

Thursday, 24 October 2002, 11:54 AM EST

Monday's distributed denial of service attacks on the Internet's root servers were the real thing.

But such attacks were discussed over two years ago by an Internet pioneer with a technology journalist from The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

In the article, published on 22 August 2000 and headlined "How crackers could crash the Internet", Nathan Cochrane spoke to Milo Medin, chief technologist of the now defunct US broadband ISP Excite@Home, who warned that crashing the root servers would bring down the Net.

Medin said that if would-be cyber-terrorists understood the way the Net was structured, they would concentrate their energies on the root servers and not bother with vulnerabilities in individual Web sites.

Somewhat eerily, Cochrane's article said: "According to Excite@Home's Medin, a simultaneous, sustained distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, such as that executed recently against high-profile e-commerce sites Yahoo! and Amazon.com, would knock out all communications."

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