Nightly News   |  March 27, 2013

Largest cyberattack in history?

One company that blocks spam has blacklisted another company that hosts websites because it’s believed that they host too much spam – as a result, the website hosting company has clogged the Internet by overloading the spam blocker with requests for service. NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> some folks across the country today reported problems with their internet service . either slowness or sporadic service outages. it may be because of what we are learning more about tonight, a record-breaking cyberattack that's been under way for the past few weeks. nbc's katie tour with us tonight from our studios with details. good evening.

>> good evening, brian. one tech writer likens it to gang warfare . basically a fight between two companies online. one that blocks spam and one that they are blacklisting because they say it enables spam to spread. the blacklisted company is trying to shut down the first company by overloading it with service requests like you would busy up a phone line. that's slowing down the internet. it's been hard to get on certain websites from time to time. people have been saying they haven't been able to get onto netflix to stream video. now it's basically an inconvenience, but this kind of denial of service attack is getting easier. in the last six months major banks have been targeted and even when they have been warned it's coming they have not been able to stop it. no websites were hacked. no personal information was at risk as of now. what you can do is demand more and tighter security from the companies you visit online. of course as always, we'll always tell you this -- be careful with what you put out there especially when it comes to your personal information . brian?

>> katie, thanks.