be very difficult to deal with attacks from even a few thousand coordinated hosts. Thus a hundred or a thousand times as many hosts would utterly overwhelm any known defensive measures—with the result that attackers could launch many DDOS attacks simultaneously against a wide range of services. For example, they could plausibly target all of the root name servers (of which 13 are currently deployed and operated by various organizations) and all of the major Internet news outlets and the cyber-security analysis and response sites. Or, they could use the machines to overwhelm the components of the public telephone network. Or they could pursue both strategies at the same time.

The skills required to launch worm-based attacks are not extremely difficult to acquire, and the damage and confusion that they would cause could be quite significant. Thus, they appear to constitute a major form of Internet threat—one for which, at present, there is little in the way of defense. However, Making the Nation Safer does provide recommendations on some possible countermeasures for such cyberterrorism.



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