[ISN] Computer Hackers Stopped in New Attack

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Fri Mar 05 1999 - 11:14:17 PST

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    Forwarded From: anon <anonat_private>
    March 5, 1999
    Computer Hackers Are Stopped; Pentagon Networks Were Victim
    WASHINGTON -- Military security analysts uncovered and stopped computer
    hackers who had discovered a new way to attack open Pentagon networks on
    the Internet, Pentagon officials said Thursday. In testimony before
    Congress last week, John J. Hamre, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, said
    in a closed-door hearing that this new method had been uncovered by
    analysts at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Va., Defense
    Department officials said.
    The specialists at Dahlgren found a method to thwart those low-level
    probes that differ from the more frequent brutal assaults on security
    systems and alerted all the military services to the new problem and a
    remedy for it.
    "There are literally hundreds of attempts weekly to break into the
    computers," a Pentagon spokesman said. "It's constant because there's a
    certain cachet to getting into the Pentagon system."
    The Pentagon has estimated that 99.95 percent of computer hackers fail to
    penetrate beyond the open networks, which contain unclassified material,
    and so pose no national security concern. 
    The most notable example of hackers using this new method occurred in
    January when a military computer server near San Antonio was probed for
    two days from foreign Web sites. These probes reached only the open
    military networks connected to the Internet and it was unclear whether the
    probes originated overseas or were merely routed through those sites. 
    "These hackers try to cover their tracks by initiating the intrusions
    through an overseas site that has nothing to do with where the hackers
    actually are," the Pentagon spokesman said.
    In the last year, each armed service has installed new programs to detect
    hackers and to protect sensitive material. As the number of surveillance
    programs have increased, so has the number of detections.
    These new military computer security officials have said they are fighting
    a "cyberwar."
    "To them it's a war, but it's like the war on crime or the war on drugs --
    it's the information security guys' war," said William Arkin, author of
    "The U.S. Military On Line." "But it's not a real war."
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