Expedia`s problems were caused by hackers

Microsoft admitted that a denial of service attack brought down some of its sites yesterday, including Expedia.com
, just one day after a reported technical error caused intermittent outages on sites.
Thursday morning, hackers attacked the routers that direct traffic to the company`s Web sites, temporarily blocking access to some of Microsoft’s sites, the company said.
This type of attack occurs when a hacker or group of hackers use sophisticated programs that allow them to flood a system with so much data that legitimate access to the site becomes slowed or blocked completely.
“It is unfortunate that an individual or group of individuals would engage in this kind of illegal activity,” Microsoft said yesterday. “Microsoft has made the FBI aware of this situation, and has taken immediate steps to ensure our customers can gain access to our Web sites. These steps will also make sure that our networks have improved protection from this type of attack.”
Microsoft maintains that Wednesday`s outages were “completely seperate” from Thursday`s attack. Microsoft attributed Wednesday’s outages to a mistaken configuration change by an employee that limited communication between the domain name servers (DNS) on the Internet and Microsoft`s DNS servers.
The blocked communication caused many of Microsoft`s sites, including Expedia, to be unreachable to a large number of customers although Microsoft said they were actually operational.
This is not the first time that Microsoft was the victim of such a crime; in October Microsoft`s network was broken into by hackers. Microsoft has said that there is no proof that these incidents are related.