Three Root Servers Knocked Out By Attacks; Internet Keeps On Ticking

from the is-that-all-you've-got? dept

There's been some fear in the past about the fact that a key part of keeping the internet running, the core "root servers," are somewhat vulnerable. There are only 13 root servers, and taking them all out would cause quite a problem. So far, though, attacks have been unable to do so. Nearly five years ago, all 13 were attacked, taking out seven or eight of them for a period of time -- though the others picked up the slack and there were no noticeable problems. The latest story is that some sort of attack from hackers took down three of the servers, the biggest attack since the ones in 2002. Some of the attacks went on as long as 12 hours. Again, there was no noticeable impact for most users. However, the question is being raised again about whether using just 13 root servers is really safe. A few years back, there was a suggestion that it might be a lot safer to set up some sort of peer-to-peer system to better distribute the root servers among many more machines. It doesn't seem like that idea got much traction (and it certainly has its downsides as well), but it will be interesting to see if the latest attacks get people discussing this question once again, and whether or not they have any creative solutions.
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  1. identicon
    JM3, 7 Feb 2007 @ 7:33am

    this is why we have caches and local domain name servers in the first place. other wise the local computer would just contact the root server directly. The local domain name servers store information about domains so the majority of the internet would continue to function for a relativly long time even if all of the root servers were taken out. If you did want to have an quick and effective attack on the internet, attacking the root servers would not be the way to do it.

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