Microsoft Fends Off Hack Attack

The attack started early Tuesday morning in the US when Microsoft employees noticed massive spikes in traffic, said Adam Sohn, a spokesman for the Redmond, Wash.-based software company. Microsoft's Web site didn't shut down, but it did endure a 3% to 7% degradation in performance, Sohn said.

As a result, users weren't able to view pages immediately.

The attack against Microsoft came in the form of a "synflood," a type of denial-of-service attack that prevents PCs and Web servers from communicating. When this type of attack occurs, the server continues to send out new requests to identify the visiting computer without making a connection.

When the synflood began, Microsoft employees shut off access to the Web site once they determined which IP address the attack had come from, Sohn said. Another reason Microsoft's site was able to stay up is that it utilizes vast amounts of server capacity.

The one positive aspect of the attempted attack: Windows 2000 lived up to its expectations, Sohn said. "It was a great battle test for Windows 2000 - they came at us hard," but the security settings in the server level kept out the synflooding, he said.

Microsoft later reported the attack to law enforcement officials, said Sohn. He didn't specify which agencies the company notified. The only information that is known is where the attack physically came from, he added.

The company plans to step up its security efforts, said Sohn.

"Often Microsoft is a target because we're very visible, and we tend to be vigilant" in security efforts, Sohn said. Attempts are made every day to access corporate information on the the company's network and the site. Recent denial-of-service attacks on such sites as CNN and Yahoo heightened Microsoft's security, he said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Kathleen Ohlson

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?