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One of Many Stories on the recent wave of DOS attacks on major web sites.
News.com also has a nice Wrap up story that explains how this kind of thing happens.
The weapons used to execute \"denial of service\" attacks, which crippled major Web sites this week, have existed in rudimentary form for decades. But security experts say several effective assault tools that help automate the launch of such attacks have been released only recently.
With names like Trinoo, Tribal Flood Network and Stacheldraht (German for \"barbed wire\"), these tools take advantage of otherwise innocent computers connected to the global network to launch a vast flood of traffic at their targets.