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Music Industry Web Site Attacked

The attack came one day after the introduction of a bill that would, in effect, make it legal for the music industry to hack illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing services.

A distributed denial-of-service attack made the Recording Industry Association of America's Web site inaccessible for much of the weekend.

The Web site was attacked one day after U.S. Representative Howard L. Berman, D-Calif., introduced a RIAA-backed bill that would, in effect, make it legal for the music industry to hack illegal peer-to-peer file-sharing services with technical countermeasures such as sending a file-swapper corrupt or spoofed files that falsely appear to be a copyrighted work and even re-directing file-swappers to sites that don't contain the files they're seeking to download. The bill, however, would prohibit copyright holders from damaging or spreading malicious software, such as Trojans or viruses, to file-swappers' systems.

Despite the timing of the attack, an RIAA spokesman wouldn't speculate on whether or not it was sparked by the proposed legislation. He wasn't sure how many systems were used to launch the attack. He said the site had returned to normal by Monday, but several attempts to access the Web site by InformationWeek on Tuesday afternoon resulted in a "403.9 Access Forbidden: Too many users are connected" error.

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