Fast Breaks Newsfront: January 29, 2001
Down for Count
Microsofts online properties, the thirdmost popular destination on the Internet, were inaccessible for nearly two days because of an internal routing error and a subsequent denial-of-service attack, the company said.
Security expert Elias Levy at SecurityFocus.com said the initial snafu causing the Jan. 24 outage exposed Microsofts Domain Name Server architecture to the outside world. That vulnerability gave hackers enough information to launch an attack, which effectively shut down Microsoft.com and MSN.com for most of the day Jan. 25.
The combined mistake and hack left thousands of MSN customers without e-mail and other services. Microsoft has handed over the investigation to the FBI.
Up in the Air
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch may not proceed with what would be the largest media initial public offering in history after all. He earlier said his News Corp. planned an IPO of Sky Global Networks, valued at about $40 billion. But last week Murdoch said he is instead focused on talking with U.S. satellite broadcasters about merging domestic and global satellite businesses.
Not So Private
Even though European Union countries have stricter privacy laws than the U.S., a Consumers International study found EU-based Web sites "are no better at telling users how they use their data than" U.S. sites. The study of 751 Web sites aimed at consumers found some of the best privacy policies were found on U.S. sites.
Priceline.com has given spokesman William Shatner the hook. The name-your-price site reportedly tapped actress Sarah Jessica Parker, star of TVs Sex and the City, for the job. In a new commercial, the frizzy-haired Parker does not appear but provides a voice-over.