Anarchy on the Web

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The denial of service spree that wiped out the web this week exposed the real vulnerability of the internet.

The simplicity and flexibility of the net is what we love about it. It’s what encourages innovation but it turns out it’s what leaves it open to attacks by hackers, thieves and even terrorists.

And as much as no likes to mess with the firepower of Janet Reno’s Justice Department, it’s hard to find what you can’t see. The cybersabotage began on Monday with an attack against Yahoo then spread to the online brokerage house E*Trade and to the eBay auction site.

The sites were flooded with reams and reams of data and temporarily disabled. Imagine a coordinated network of 10,000 anonymous prank phone callers dialing your phone number over and over. Officials say the DOS attack could be 15 year old kids hacking around or a sophisticated cracker network. We may never know.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


David Clark, senior research scientist at MIT’s lab for computer science

Mudge and Weld Pond, members of L0pht, a cyber-watchdog group

and Mark Rasch, a computer security consultant and former federal prosecutor.