AFN hit with viral attack

Ashland Fiber Network suffered a viral attack that caused subscribers' Internet to slow or work intermittently for nearly seven hours today, according to a city of Ashland press release.

The attack occurred at about 5 a.m., the release said. Full Internet access for AFN customers was restored at about 11:40 a.m., it said.

The release described the attack as a Distributed Denial of Service, in which multiple systems are infected with a virus which then targets a single system, causing the denial of service.

"This type of attack targets the end system and originates from many different sources, making it impossible to stop the attack simply by blocking a single IP address," the release said.

AFN's upstream provider normally guards against such an attack, but Tuesday's was "of such a magnitude the upstream equipment could not cope with the impact," the release said.

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