Sun computing utility suffers DoS attack

Sun computing utility suffers DoS attack

Sun Microsystems has suffered a denial-of-service attack on the first day of operation of its much heralded pay-per-CPU Grid computing utility.

The attack was targeted at an application developed by Cepstral that was made available as part of a free trial of the utility service. Sun says it was forced to move the application to a part of the Grid requiring user registration when the DoS zombie bots struck.

The pay-per-use system was previewed with much fanfare by Sun president and COO Jonathan Schwartz back in September 2004 and was scheduled for introduction last year. But logistical problems and Fed jitters over security issues delayed the roll-out until yesterday.

In a statement, a Sun spokesman says the DoS attack failed to disturb users operating within the protected Grid. These include Germany's Sachsen LB Europe, which is using the utility to perform risk simulations on collateralised debt obligations using hosted technology from CDO2 and Markit Group.

Users pay $1 per CPU per hour of computing power rented off the grid. Sachsen first went live on Sun Grid in December 2005 with just 10 central processing units (CPUs) per hour. This figure has since multiplied tenfold to 100 CPUs per hour.

Sachsen's head of structured credit products Christopher Nolan believes the system offers significant competitive advantages: "Prior to choosing CDO2 on Sun Grid, we were forced to run spreadsheets for hours to get critical financial figures, with no capability to run risk simulations. Now we can generate the same figures more accurately in minutes and perform a detailed risk analysis of our CDO portfolios.

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