NBCOlympics was target of ire

E-mail E-mail this article
Print Print this article

NBCOlympics.com, the official site of the 2002 Winter Games produced by Redmond-based MSNBC.com, was the target of crude denial-of-service attacks from Korea and Russia, MSNBC.com confirmed.

The first attack — in which hackers simulated a large number of visitors to the site in an attempt to crash its servers — came after Canadian pairs skaters Jamie Salé and David Pelletier were awarded a second set of gold medals alongside the Russians.

The second attack, this time from Korea, came after Seattle's Apolo Ohno won gold in the 1,500-meter short-track final. South Korean speedskater Kim Dong-sung, who crossed the finish line first, was disqualified for interfering with Ohno in the final lap.

While the attacks lasted several days, none shut down the site, said Steven White, MSNBC.com's chief technology officer. "It was more anger than shrewd cunning that was going on there," he said.

D for fact-checking: A report released Friday by Jupiter Media Metrix and Mercury Interactive said that while NBCOlympics.com far surpassed other Olympic Web sites in traffic, its e-commerce functions suffered from "relatively weak performance."

Small omission: While MSNBC.com produced the official Olympic Web site, all its e-commerce was handled by Minneapolis-based FanBuzz.com.

NBCOlympics.com peaked at more than 2 million unique visitors on Feb. 21, compared with CNNsi.com's 683,000 and Salt-Lake2002 .com's 666,000 for the same day.

AXLE rose again: The company may be gone, but the support group lives on. The Association of ex-Lotus Employees is meeting tonight at The Slip in Kirkland. On the agenda: "Reminisce the Lotus glory days of 1-2-3 and Notes."

Trash-talking bread: Video game developer Sega sent a loaf of Wonder Bread to media outlets this week promoting its line of sports games. The label managed to pull every doughy double-entendre possible out of the oven:

"In the video game industry, you're either fresh or you're toast. At Sega Sports we put some serious dough and real brainpower behind your line-up each year, making sure that every one of our titles rises to the occasion. Constant innovation, total revamping of games and generous helpings of cool new features keep our brand fresh year after year. No matter how you slice it, Sega Sports is the upper crust of the gaming industry. The other guys? They tweak their old standbys each season, but frankly we think consumers ought to check the expiration date on the bag before buying. Their contents have gone stale."

Competitor Electronic Arts has yet to issue a loaf.

On the record

New products: InterNAP, a Seattle-based Internet-routing company, launched a virtual private network service that allows businesses with multiple offices to transfer data securely over the Internet.

Funding: Action Engine, a wireless-software developer in Redmond, raised $5 million in its second round of funding. Investors include Olympic Venture Partners and Northwest Venture Associates.

The company is also expected to announce Carrier Devices, a U.K.-based device manufacturer, as a new customer this week.

Customers: digiMine, a Bellevue data-mining company, is providing Sega.com with the digiMine eBusiness Analytics service to develop e-business strategies.

Download, a column of news bits, observations and miscellany, is gathered by The Seattle Times technology staff. We can be reached at 206-464-2265 or by e-mail at biztech@seattletimes.com.