Have the hacktivists got your number?
As the Wikileaks battle rages on the internet, John Costello says that the cyber wars have only just begun
Published 18/12/2010 | 05:00
The scale of the attack was unprecedented. Visa has more than one billion credit cards in circulation worldwide and a website that can handle 10,000 transactions per second, but its size and financial muscle provided little protection.
It took a mere five minutes and just 2,000 people to bring Visa.com swiftly to its knees and shut the online hub of one of the world's largest financial corporations down.
The speed and simplicity behind the mayhem was devastating. The offensive (known as a distributed denial of service attack) involved directing so much internet traffic at the website that it buckled under the pressure. Such attacks are the online equivalent of getting thousands of people to call a company's customer service phone line at the same time.