Mysterious hackers are yet again trying to bring down the entire internet by bombarding crucial servers that support it with a gigantic, sustained distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which has caused webpages to load slowly in some locations.

There are 13 internet root name servers in the world that run the internet, and these servers are responsible for helping your web browser to locate top-level domains such as .com, .org, .net or any country-specific top level domains like .uk, .fr, .sg, .de, .ae and .cn. The servers function as a sort of internet address book and they make up what is known as the domain name system (DNS) system.

The 13 root name servers are run by independent organisations in the world, including ICANN, the US Army, the US Department of Defense, Nasa, Europe’s internet registry RIPE NCC, the University of Southern California, Japan’s Wide Project and Sweden’s Netnod. Network infrastructure solutions firm Verisign also operates two of them, namely the “A” and “J” root servers (the 13 servers are named in sequence after the alphabet from A-M).

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