distributed denial of service
adj. Relating to a computer attack that hijacks dozens or sometimes hundreds or computers around the Internet and instructs each of them to inundate a target site with meaningless requests for data. Also: DDoS.

Example Citation:
"Yahoo, Buy.com and EBay were struck by a well-known tactic called 'distributed denial of service attack,' or an avalanche of simultaneous bogus requests for service. In Yahoo's case, the saboteurs instructed at least 50 different Internet sources — each of which could be connected to vast computer networks — and turned them into the computer equivalent of zombies."
—Charles Piller, "Malicious trend exploits open nature of Web," Los Angeles Times, February 9, 2000

Earliest Citation:
Of specific concern, though, is that several organizations, including the London Stock Exchange and Barclays Bank, were targeted during the anticapitalist demonstration by teams of hackers from Indonesia, Israel, Germany, Canada and the U.S. For five hours, at least 20 companies were subjected to more than 10,000 hacker attacks.

This technique is called Floodnet, after a legal software program that initiates a large number of Web searches every second. Multiply this by tens of thousands of people coordinating their searches to constantly occur over a period of hours, and you find yourself under a distributed denial-of-service attack.
—Winn Schwartau, "Hactivists' cyberdisobedience is anything but civil," Network World, September 13, 1999

Related Words:

Category: