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From: InfoSec News (alertsinfosecnews.org)
Date: Wed Dec 15 2010 - 00:01:30 CST
By VERNE G. KOPYTOFF
The New York Times
December 14, 2010
Repelling a hacker attack can be costly as PayPal, Visa and MasterCard
undoubtedly found out last week as they tried – with mixed success – to
keep their Web sites from being knocked offline by supporters of
How much money exactly? An unrelated attack several years earlier on
Google may provide some insight.
In 2005 Google was battling the Santy worm, a bit of malicious software
that caused infected computers across the globe to automatically enter
search queries – so many, in fact, that Google was overwhelmed. Details
of the episode are chronicled in internal F.B.I. memos obtained by The
New York Times through a Freedom of Information Act request.
On Dec. 22, 2005, Google complained to the F.B.I. that the attack had
slowed its search engine’s performance. For 12 to 18 months previous,
Google said it had been plagued by variants of the worm, which used
search queries to find vulnerable Web sites and deface them by
exploiting a security hole in community forum software PHP Bulletin
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