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The DNS is a service that translates easy-to-remember alphabetic URLs into Web sites' actual numerical IP addresses. The system enables users to easily access the Web sites they want to visit and thus is a critical part of Internet operations. DDoS attacks can overwhelm servers with hacker-generated traffic and thereby make them unavailable for legitimate communications. These assaults are a serious threat to the Internet because hackers are developing increasingly sophisticated ways to take over thousands of unsuspecting victims' computers, creating large botnets of zombie machines they can use to launch DDoS attacks. DNS security measures and quick, coordinated responses by Internet engineers, including the filtering of hackers' messages, made the recent attack less effective than a major assault that occurred in 2002. This is important because a significant disruption to the DNS system could slow or limit Internet access for millions of users.