World renowned security expert Ira Winkler has predicted that the unwitting hosts of denial of service attacks could be prosecuted in the courts if they do not have adequate security measures.
The interest in litigation follows the crippling denial of service attacks launched last month on some of the Internet's top names including Amazon.com, Yahoo and eBay, said Winkler, who previously worked for the National Security Agency in the US.
A denial of service attack involves hackers breaking into surrogate systems to launch a flood of requests to the victim's server, making it unavailable.
Companies which are the unwitting hosts of the attacks could be held liable if their security is not up to scratch, Winkler said.
"If you are a denial of service host, then you might become liable," he said.
"There are a few lawyers in the States becoming very interested in going after somebody for these attacks soon," said Winkler.
DK Matai, managing director of security specialist mi2g, agreed that businesses may end up being liable if they are surrogate to a denial of service attack.