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"The Web runs on advertising -- that's how all these websites are paid for," Grossman said. "So the reach of these advertising networks is phenomenal."
The researchers stood up an Apache server on AWS to crash it in front of the audience within a few seconds of targeting their script-running browsers toward it.
"This whole time we did not hack anybody. We just used the way the Web works and took down our own service," Johansen said. "We stayed completely on the legal side here. But you can kind of get an idea of how this could get fun if you didn't."
Not only could malicious hackers do much more damage with more malicious code, but "there's no particular reason why the bad guys couldn't use a stolen credit card" to carry out this kind of attack, Grossman said.
According to Johansen, the advantage to an attacker of using this method is its disappearing footprint.