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MS claims victory over hack attack

We'd have prudently kept our mouths shut...

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Microsoft.com has beaten off a hacker attack, the company claimed yesterday, possibly somewhat rashly, considering the number of people out there who fancy a challenge. The attack, which the company says took place on Tuesday, is claimed to have only caused a short slowdown in page viewing of 3-7 per cent, and was unable to melt the scads of hardware Microsoft has ready and waiting for bright-eyed and bushy-tailed users downloading vast Windows Update files. But it wasn't one of the dreaded DDoS attacks - a Microsoft spokesman told Reuters it was a syn-flood, which directs packets at a server port and leaves the server with half-open ports. Typically servers don't have too many of these available, so it can be a pretty cost-effective mechanism for knocking sites over. Effectively, the attack is faking the conditions where a client crashes or the connection is broken. Microsoft's success in beating one of those off may of course tell you something about Windows... ®

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