"There is no sure-fire defense right now," Secretary William M. Daley said at a press conference this afternoon in Chicago. "The most important thing is to make sure our systems aren't launching pads."
Yahoo was the first site to fall prey, reporting that hackers had disrupted the leading Net site's service. Amazon, Buy.com, CNN.com and several other Web sites were attacked yesterday. It was learned that the attacks were being caused by an overwhelming number of messages, rendering targeted sites inoperable.
Last month, President Clinton launched a $2 billion plan to combat the very type of hacking situation that has occurred this week. The initiatives are slated to protect the online community from attacks that could cripple the economy, the president said at the time.
The plan was a result of a study Clinton ordered that looked into ways of protecting America's computer systems from attacks by cyberterrorists.
The money will be allocated at the end of this year and the beginning of 2001.
The research teams will look into ways of detecting malicious code and figuring out how to better understand where intrusions originate, said William Mehuron, director of the Information Technology Laboratory, an arm of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Another meeting with the research team members, whom Daley would not name, is scheduled for next month, he said.
"This is a wake-up call in many ways," he said at the press conference. "This just confirms what many of us have been saying for the past two years."