January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Hackers Take Yahoo! Down

Yahoo!, one of the most popular Internet content and e-commerce sites, fell victim yesterday to hackers who launched a "denial-of-service" assault that disabled the site for nearly three hours. The electronic attack flooded Yahoo's equipment with repeated requests, but hackers were unable to gain access toYahoo's computers, the company says.

The problems began Monday afternoon and prevented customers from accessing free email accounts through the Web site, but did not affect Web sites on Yahoo-owned Geocities.

The attack comes just weeks after two well-publicized break-ins to e-commerce sites CDUniverse and Xoom.com.

Yahoo declined to say whether it had contacted the FBI regarding the attack.

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