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[] Reuters: Internet performed well after 9/11,

Meldung vom 21.11.02

Online computer services as far away as South Africa and Romania crashed
after the 11 September hijack attacks on New York's World Trade Center, but
by and large the Internet performed well, a panel of experts reported on
Wednesday. On a day when telephone networks were frequently overloaded,
e-mail and Web traffic mostly flowed smoothly, despite the fact that vital
Internet facilities in Manhattan were knocked out by the attack, the
National Research Council report said. "The fact is that the Internet, taken
as a whole, was not significantly affected," said the report, which was
drafted by a group of computer experts in academia and private businesses.
Web sites reporting news of the disaster struggled to keep up with demand
and doctors in some hospitals found they could not access patient
information on their handheld computers. Internet users in South Africa and
Romania were knocked offline for days in some cases. US officials have
worried that terrorists or hackers could try to bring down the global
computer network that now handles much of the world's business. Network
engineers point out that the design of the Internet - really a network of
networks - allows traffic to take alternate routes to avoid bottlenecks and
trouble spots. The National Research Council, which drew on a wide range of
sources from Internet provider logs to public-opinion surveys to provide a
comprehensive look at Internet activity on 11 September 2001, seemed to
support their point. Lower Manhattan serves as a hub for Internet traffic
from all over the world, hosting scores of local Internet providers and
undersea data cables serving much of Europe and Africa.


Several large Internet providers, among them WorldCom, Verizon, and AT&T,
housed connection equipment in the World Trade Center that went offline when
the buildings collapsed. Additional facilities were lost when a nearby
Verizon building was damaged by falling debris later that afternoon.
Additional problems sprung up hours later as the diesel-powered generators
that provided backup power to many facilities ran out of fuel or became
clogged with dust. But engineers from rival companies worked together
quickly to route traffic elsewhere, the report said. While some large Wall
Street firms found they had no Internet service, others reported no
problems. Some overseas users ran into more difficulties. Internet providers
in Germany, Italy, and Romania were knocked offline as they depended on
facilities in lower Manhattan, the report said. South Africa was perhaps
hardest hit, as users found themselves unable to navigate the Web for
several days after their domain-name system, which matches numerical
addresses with easy-to-remember names like "", was knocked
out. The database for the names was located in Manhattan, the report said.
High-profile news sites struggled as well as they were swamped with visitors
moments after the first plane hit. Network operators at retooled the
site to include fewer slow-loading graphics, and turned to Akamai
Technologies Inc.'s <AKAM.O> distribution system for extra capacity. Overall
Internet use was slightly lower that day as people watched television to
find out about the unfolding crisis, the report said. But figures from
network monitoring facilities found that traffic as a whole flowed smoothly.

see also press release:

to order:

The Internet Under Crisis Conditions: Learning from September 11 
Committee on the Internet Under Crisis Conditions: Learning from the Impact
of September 11, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National
Research Council

This is a forthcoming title; it has not yet been published and there are no
prepublication copies or uncorrected proofs available in print for review in
the interim. All prices listed are estimates and do not become final until
books are printed; they are, therefore, subject to change. Please contact
<> Customer Service for updates regarding
projected date of release. 

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