denial-of-service attack

Often spread by e-mail viruses, these are deliberately planned attacks on a companies or organizations, Web sites, or servers. They aim to shut down access to a site or key server by flooding it with massive requests, placing such great demands on the targeted information infrastructure that no one else can gain access to it. (See cyberwarfare.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.