Global summit hit by cyberattack

NEW YORK--An invisible cyber assault has cut off access for the second day running to the Web site of the World Economic Forum, organizers of the gathering of the world's political and business elite confirmed on Friday.

The flood of Internet traffic to the Web site at began on Thursday afternoon, the first day of a five-day conference, and continued through Friday, with only intermittent let-up, a conference organizer said.

"What we do know is that too many hits on our Web site are shutting it down," spokesman Charles McLean told a briefing for reporters attending the summit on Friday.

"If it's in fact vandals, that's unfortunate because we are in the dialogue business and dialogue involves communication," he said. The Web site "is a way for us reaching out to people out in the streets."

The shutdown appeared to be an example of a denial of service attack. This involves overwhelming a site with false computer requests, rendering the information inaccessible to legitimate users.

Law-enforcement sources confirmed details of a Village Voice online account of the cyber vandalism on the World Economic Forum (WEF) Web site, making it the second year in a row in which the event's Internet site has come under attack.