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News: ISPs should be responsible for hacker attacks

Posted: 12:22AM

New Scientist - "Internet service providers (ISPs) should be made legally liable for the damage caused by denial of service (DoS) attacks carried out via their networks, a leading internet lawyer says. A DoS attack involves taking down a website or server by flooding it with meaningless traffic, usually sent from a network of tens of thousands of PCs infected with viruses and controlled remotely. These viral bots do nothing until a hacker sends a command that tells them to attack a target, but can also be used to relay millions of spam email messages. At a conference called Blocking Denial of Service Attacks on the Internet, to be held in London on 13 November, Lilian Edwards, an internet lawyer based at the University of Southampton, UK, will argue that legal measures must be taken if these attacks are to be stemmed. Edwards notes that ISPs currently have no legal obligation to check data relayed to and from internet users. She thinks, however, that governments could require them to do so."

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