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Verisign moves DNS root servers in defensive ploy

In wake of DDoS attack

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Key Internet Domain Name System (DNS) servers have been relocated to improve Internet security and stability in the wake of a recent, serious distributed denial of service attack.

Verisign, which manages two root DNS servers, moved one to a different locations, connected to different parts of its network earlier this week. It is the first time any of these servers, which are vital in managing the flow of traffic on the Net, have been moved since 1997.

The company said the move would help defend against further attacks by ensure normal operations if hackers or a hardware outage crippled one server.

Last month a co-ordinated attack hobbled nine of 13 root DNS servers across the globe. Seven stopped responding almost entirely and the performance of two was severely degraded during the hour-long attack on October 21.

AP reports that Verisign's servers were not among those crippled by the attack. The servers were on the same network as those attacked, so the company felt it prudent to move at least one of them.

After the October 21 attack ceased services from all 13 root DNS servers were quickly restored. Thanks to its short duration, and the way DNS lookups are organised, few users would have noticed any disruption. If the attacks had continued we would have been looking at a far more serious problem.

The FBI have been drafted in to investigate the attack. AP reports that FBI Director Robert Mueller last week told reporters that investigators had traced attack traffic back to compromised computers in South Korea and the US. ®

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