White House Web Site Attacked

ByABC News
May 4, 2001, 6:14 PM

W A S H I N G T O N, May 4 -- The White House Web site today fell victim to a denial of service attack that clogged access to the site for more than two hours.

Jimmy Orr, White House director of Internet press, said that the attack occurred from 9 a.m. to about 11:15 a.m.

The connection between the White House and its ISP [Internet service provider] was clogged due to an enormous amount of data sent to the White House Web site, Orr said.

In denial of service attacks, a Web site receives a flood of requests to its services, which makes it difficult for legitimate users to access the servers that make the site available.

Chinese Threats

Chinese computer hackers upset about the recent spat over the collision of a U.S. spy plane with a Chinese fighter jet have threatened this week to launch attacks on U.S. government Web sites.

But no evidence was disclosed that pointed to anyone involved with those hackers in todays DOS attack.

Were not going to speculate at this time as to where it came from, Orr said, but its something were taking very seriously.

Its important to realize that the data did not reach the White House servers. There was no breach of security.

Staff Checking

Orr said technical staff was checking into the problem but said he did not know which, if any, law enforcement agencies were looking into it.

Advance preparation helped prevent the White House Web site from being hacked, he said. We have good security provisions here at the White House.

The White House Web site appeared fully operational by this evening.

ABCNEWS Brian Hartman in Washington contributed to this report.