SEATTLE — Microsoft Corp. said Wednesday that hackers had tried to topple its corporate Web site, but the software giant said the assault, the latest in a string of attacks on major Internet operations, had done little damage.
The Tuesday morning ambush of http://www.microsoft.com did not crash the site, but caused a brief slowdown in initial page viewing of about 3% to 7%, Microsoft spokesman Adam Sohn said. That meant that some users who clicked on a Web page on the site failed to see it the first time they tried.
The assault on the Redmond, Wash.-based company followed crippling disruptions recently at several large Web operations such as Yahoo Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.
Those were "denial of service" strikes, in which hackers set up automatic programs to hijack many other computers on the Net, which then pounded the sites with so many requests for information that legitimate users could not gain access.
Instead, Microsoft suffered what Sohn called a "syn-flood" attack, which disrupts communication between a PC and the Web site server so that the server sends repeat requests for the visiting computer's identification, devouring processing capacity.
Microsoft immediately reported the trouble to authorities, Sohn said, but he declined to elaborate.
The site was relatively unaffected because it had the capacity to deal with legions of visitors seeking to download the latest software upgrades or test products, he said.