The attack that knocked The New York Times offline this week was an old-school hack: simple DNS blocking. The Syrian Electronic Army, which apparently mounted the attack, broke into domain-name servers run by Melbourne IT (and not into the NYT's own systems, which would have been a much bigger deal) and changed some numbers, redirecting the NYT's incoming traffic away from the site. As tech journalist Rob Pegaro points out at Sulia (which, fair warning, is a confusing, unnavigable mess of a website), this technique is pretty much what the backers of the anti-copyright-infringement laws SOPA and PIPA wanted written into the law. It "would have let copyright holders require Internet providers to use DNS redirection to block access to allegedly infringing sites," Pegaro notes. "That authority would inevitably have been abused in social-engineering exploits -- and we'd likely see a lot more outages like the NYT's." http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2013/08/30/how-the-anti-piracy-lobby-like-the-syrian-electronic-army/
James F. Booth
For more than 25 years, James Booth has provided consulting and legal services to telecommunications carriers and to enterprise companies that manage their own telecommunications networks. Since June of 2009 he has also served as General Counsel of Spread Networks, LLC, which is the industry leader in the construction and operation of low latency high speed networks. Before joining Spread he was General Counsel for OnFiber Communications, a competitive telecommunications provider, and was the sole attorney for Qwest Communications International in support of its construction of an 18,800 mile fiber optic network spanning the United States. Earlier he was lead counsel for U S WEST in its wireless and cable television ventures in the United States, Europe and Hong Kong.