It would be safe to say that it has not been a good week for Microsoft.
caused Microsoft Web sites, including MSN.com e-mail, to be unreachable Wednesday. Now, those same Web sites were unavailable for the second straight day Thursday because of what the software giant is calling a hacker attack.
For a large part of Thursday, Microsoft.com, MSN.com, MSNBC.com and other Microsoft sites were unavailable. Troubles started around 12:30 PM EST Thursday. By evening,
Microsoft issued a statement
saying, “Microsoft was the target of a denial-of-service attack against the routers that direct traffic to the company’s Web sites.”
In its press release,
said it “has made the FBI aware of this situation, and has taken immediate steps to ensure our customers can gain access to our Web sites. These steps will also make sure that our networks have improved protection from this type of attack.”
A denial-of-service attack means a server is inundated with requests for access. As a result the system simply shuts down preventing access.
Speculation from experts in the field is that perhaps Microsoft technicians left open holes for the Thursday attack after reconfiguring systems as a result of Wednesday’s problems. Microsoft, in its statement, denied there was any connection between Wednesday’s inaccessibility and Thursday’s attack.
In an apology to users posted on its Web site, Microsoft said Wednesday’s troubles were not part of Thursday’s hacker attack. Instead, Microsoft said Wednesday’s problems started when a technician made what Microsoft called “a configuration change to the routers on the edge of Microsoft’s Domain Name Server network” on Tuesday evening. “The mistaken configuration change limited communication between DNS servers on the Internet and Microsoft’s DNS servers. This limited communication causing many of Microsoft’s sites to be unreachable,” Microsoft told users.