A cyber attack in which a cracker bombards a targeted computer with thousands (or more) of fake requests for information, causing the computer to run out of memory and other resources and to either slow down dramatically or to stop. The cracker uses more than one (typically hundreds or thousands) of previously cracked computers connected to the Internet to start the attack. These computers are called “zombies,” indicating that they operate under somebody else’s control who has evil intentions. The multiple origins of the attack make it difficult to defend against.
Schell, B.H. and Martin, C. Contemporary World Issues Series: Cybercrime: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2004.