As of 11:30 a.m. PST, News Corp.'s FoxNews.com was noticeably altered, with graphics and advertisements missing. Links to news stories still worked, but often the site's home page was inaccessible.
A Fox News representative confirmed that the site was the victim of a denial-of-service (DoS) attack but did not say how long the site had been crippled or what the company is doing to address the problem. The representative said Fox News noticed the DoS problems midday Thursday.
On Thursday, Walt Disney's ABCNews.com and ESPN.com also suffered outages throughout the day that mostly were fixed by Friday. Disney spokeswoman Kim Kerscher declined to comment on the nature of the outages. However, sources close to ABCNews.com and ESPN.com said the outages were the result of a denial-of-service attack.
DoS attacks are computerized assaults that weaken a Web site by targeting its network hardware, such as its servers. The most common type of attack occurs when a computer floods a Web site with such an overflow of useless data that the site shuts down because of its inability to process all of the junk requests.
Media sites frequently have been targets of these types of attacks. The worst came in February 2000 when sites such as Yahoo, CNN.com and Amazon.com were taken offline by a.