The United States Government has called in the FBI after cyber vandals disrupted several high profile internet sites,
shutting out millions of users.
The hackers, whose identities are unknown, used a technique known as a "denial of service attack" to overwhelm computers
running internet sites with thousands of messages.
It was not known how many internet users were affected by the disruptions, but numbers were thought to be in the
Among high profile sites to be affected were Yahoo, eBay, Amazon, CNN and Buy.Com. The Microsoft Corporation site was
also affected when one of its computer servers was knocked out by attacks.
In a news conference top US law enforcer Attorney General Janet Reno, said her government was committed to tracking down
and stopping internet vandalism
She said the motives of the vandals were not known `but appeared to be part of “a concerted attempt to interfere with
and disrupt electronic commerce and trade.”
An internet law expert told the meeting the vandals could expect at least 5 years in jail and a maximum $250,000 fine,
or be penalised twice the amount of money they caused victims to lose, if they were caught.
In response to the disruption, internet stocks dropped sharply on Wall Street on Wednesday.