Virginia DMV site attacked

Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles, which began to offer online driver's license renewals last month, was forced to take its World Wide Web site down on Tuesday following an Internet-based attack.

The incident resembled the denial-of-services attacks that brought down the Web sites of eBay, Yahoo and other Internet companies last week.

According to the DMV, an individual, apparently dissatisfied with something regarding auto insurance coverage, overwhelmed the Web server with fake transactions, forcing DMV officials to take it offline for about 45 minutes. A denial-of-service attack renders a Web site inaccessible but does not affect any information residing on the server.

"At no point was any customer information compromised," said a DMV spokeswoman.

Virginia, like other states, has made the Internet a key component of its strategy to improve services. Online services available to Virginia residents include driver's license and car registration renewals and license plate orders.

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