Federal Web sites knocked out by cyber attack

July 7, 2009 7:01:22 PM PDT
The Associated Press has learned that a widespread computer attack that began July 4 knocked out the Web sites of several government agencies, including some that are responsible for fighting cyber crime. Officials say the Treasury Department, Secret Service, Federal Trade Commission and the Transportation Department's Web sites were all down at varying points over the weekend and into this week.

Some were still experiencing problems or delays Tuesday evening.

Officials familiar with the outage, which is called a denial of service attack, said that the fact that the government Web sites were still being affected three days after it began, signaled an unusually lengthy and sophisticated attack. Several officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.

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