You may have heard that a massive distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack was mounted on a set of key Internet servers today. Although the attack was ultimately unsuccessful, the scale itself was very surprising. Also of interest is the fact that had the attack persisted it could have caused massive disruption of internet traffic. I think this problem is only going to get worse.
UPDATE: Faisal responded to this story saying that the attack wasn't that massive, and it wasn't directed at the backbone (a term that has questionable meaning anyway) but rather at the DNS root servers. These servers are the starting point for resolving a domain name (like heiser.net) into an IP address (like 220.127.116.11). The choice of attacking the root servers is somewhat unique, and there is some debate as to what the effect might actually be if they became unreachable for a long period of time. But the size of the recent attack was not significant enough to disrupt service. We'll see next time...