[ISN] Virtual country 'nuked' on Net

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Fri Jan 29 1999 - 22:02:42 PST

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    Forwarded From: anonat_private
    Tuesday, January 26, 1999 Published at 15:01 GMT 
    Virtual country 'nuked' on Net 
    By Internet Correspondent Chris Nuttall 
    The Indonesian Government is being blamed for a highly-organised attack on
    computers in Ireland which brought down the East Timor virtual country
    Connect-Ireland says it is lodging a formal protest with the Indonesian
    Embassy in London after it was forced to shut down its systems, disrupting
    its Internet service provision to 3,000 customers. 
    The cracker attacks, perhaps the first of their kind orchestrated by a
    government, began last Tuesday and, after a week, the domain guardian and
    Internet Service Provider was still struggling to restore its services.
    "E-Nazis" create chaos 
    Only its home page was accessible, containing a statement headlined:
    E-Nazis Creating Chaos on the Net. 
    "The apparent aim of the attack was to disrupt the East Timorese Internet
    domain [.tp], established only twelve months ago by the East Timorese
    Project, " said the statement. 
    The project was initiated by Connect-Ireland and the 1996 Nobel Prize
    winners Ramos Horta and Bishop Belo. The main site, www.freedom.tp
    returned a 404 Not Found error message on Tuesday.
    "The perpetrators of this attack have not yet been identified, but the
    Indonesian government is known to be extremely antagonistic towards this
    display of virtual sovereignty," said the statement.
    Robots mounted 18 attacks
    Connect-Ireland's project director, Martin Maguire, told BBC News Online
    that e-mail for customers was now being delivered and new passwords were
    being issued.
    He said crackers had been testing the servers' defences for the past nine
    months before launching lightning simultaneous attacks from countries as
    far apart as Australia, Japan, Holland and the United States.
    "There were 18 simultaneous attacks on our server by robots trying to claw
    down our defences," said Martin.
    "This was a very high-level attack that had to be planned and
    Once they had broken in, the crackers set up their own domain host,
    need.tp, with the possible aim of using it for propaganda on East Timor.
    A new style of war
    Connect-Ireland responded with its "nuclear option" of a complete
    shutdown. "We have re-invented ourselves in the space of a week, moving
    platforms, using other versions of software on new hardware," said Martin.
    He said other services in Japan and the United States had been hit by
    similar attacks but were not reporting them for fear of bad publicity.
    "This is the ostrich nature of the industry. But it's going to be the new
    style of war. You can see these tactics becoming part of official
    government policy and a potential weapon."
    "And it can take place against real countries. Probably no government has
    contingency plans for this, no government has mandatory reporting of such
    incidents and there is no plan for managing the problem."
    There was no-one available for comment at the Indonesian Embassy in London
    on Tuesday. 
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