Hackers jam Mcrosoft site

Nicko Demeter webmaster at newmedia.net
Sat Jun 21 01:44:36 EEST 1997

Sorry about the format. Story follows:

Hackers jam Microsoft's site 
                By Janet Kornblum
                June 20, 1997, 2 p.m. PT 

                update Hackers exploited a bug in Microsoft's
                (MSFT) server software, jamming the company's
                Web site since yesterday. 

                The hackers are apparently exploiting a bug in
                Windows NT 4.0 running Microsoft's Internet
                Information Server version 3.0, in which the entire
                site is jammed by someone typing in a specific URL
                into a Web browser, according to Mike Nash,
                director of marketing for Windows NT server. 

                Hackers sent Microsoft an email at about 4 p.m.
                yesterday, Nash said. Microsoft engineers
                immediately developed a patch and are posting it on
                their own site today. The patch will be ready by 5
                p.m., he added. 

                "Hackers made us aware of a problem that they
                had identified," Nash said. "It is possible to develop
                a URL--a string of characters in a browser--that
                could cause interruption of service on a Web

                Someone identified as Todd Fast says on his site
                that he inadvertently discovered the bug "while
                examining the parameters of an URL Microsoft's
                Internet Information Server (IIS) would accept
                without an error." 

                "This is a hugely embarrassing bug for Microsoft in
                my opinion, particularly since they've just been
                lauded for pulling ahead of Netscape in Web server
                market," Fast wrote. "Knowing that anyone with a
                grudge and a twitchy keyboard could shut down
                any of their customer's Web sites must bear horribly
                on their collective conscience." 

                Microsoft representatives originally said that the
                problem was caused by busy servers and that users
                should expect delays through the end of the month. 

                The problem was exacerbated by what Microsoft
                spokesman Adam Sohn called "phenomenal

                In other words, not everyone who tries to access
                the site will get onto it every time. The problem is
                compounded by Internet routing jams and individual
                jams at Internet service providers, Nash said. 

                Those who were able to get to the home page
                today were greeted with the following message:
                "We're upgrading; our apologies in advance due to
                growth...Over the next few weeks, some users may
                see some interruption in service. Read what's

                The "Read what's happening" had a link,
                presumably to a story, but people had trouble
                getting to that link. 

                The outage and problems have angered some Web
                surfers who have been trying to get onto the pages.
                Some, who presumably did not yet know the cause
                of the outage, used the problems to criticize the
                company's Web server software. "Maybe they
                should have bought Linux," one reader sarcastically
                wrote to CNET's NEWS.COM.

                "They have so many bugs in their software, so why
                use it?," said Ben Efros, a Webmaster who also
                wrote in. "Microsoft is just a large company going
                nowhere on the Internet. 

                But others came to the defense of Microsoft, saying
                its software is better than Linux. 
This is a mail from:
Nicko Demeter
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