[ISN] White House threatens to punish hackers.

From: cult hero (jerichoat_private)
Date: Wed Jun 02 1999 - 03:57:01 PDT

  • Next message: cult hero: "[ISN] Federal Cybercrime Unit Hunts for Hackers"

    Forwarded From: William Knowles <erehwonat_private>
    (News.com) [6.1.99] WASHINGTON--Annoyed by a recent wave of attacks
    against official U.S. government Web sites, the White House today warned
    hackers who target federal Web sites that they will be caught and
    "There's a government-wide effort to make sure that our computer systems
    remain secure," White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart said in a
    briefing. "For those who think that this is some sort of sport, I think
    [it will be] less fun when the authorities do catch up with them...and
    these people are prosecuted," he said.
    To protect against attacks that in recent days and weeks have disabled
    sites run by the Energy Department, the FBI, the Senate, the Interior
    Department, and the White House, the Defense Department said it planned to
    shut down its Web site for a short time today, said Ken Bacon, the
    Pentagon's chief spokesman.
    "This is much more protective than reactive," Bacon said. "It's looking to
    the future to prevent the types of problems that the other agencies" have
    experienced in recent weeks on their sites, he said. 
    Attacking U.S. government Web sites is becoming an increasingly popular
    tool of people angry with the Clinton administration and its agencies.
    Last week hackers responded to a six-state FBI sweep of about 20 suspected
    hackers by attacking several government Internet locations, forcing the
    FBI, the Interior Department, and the U.S. Senate to temporarily shut down
    their Web sites.
    After NATO jets hit the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in May, hackers from
    China attacked a handful of U.S. government sites, including one
    maintained by the Energy Department. In an unrelated incident, the
    official White House site was shut down briefly because of an attempt to
    tamper with it by unidentified hackers, officials said. 
    In recent years the Justice Department's site was shut down once by
    hackers who put Nazi swastikas on its home page, and hackers forced the
    CIA to shut down its site after they changed the name from "Central
    Intelligence Agency" to "Central Stupidity Agency."
    With many U.S. government sites under attack, computer security experts
    are bracing for what could be a month full of additional Internet hacking
    Supporters of Kevin Mitnick, a hacker jailed in Los Angeles since February
    1995, will demonstrate in 14 U.S. cities Friday, seeking his release to a
    halfway house and an easy probation when he is sentenced on June 14. 
    Mitnick, 35, pleaded guilty on March 26 to seven counts of wire fraud,
    computer fraud, and illegal interception of a wire communication.
    Federal officials said he impersonated an employee of Finland-based Nokia
    Mobile Phones to steal software worth $240,000. He also stole software
    from Motorola, Novell, Fujitsu Network Transmission Systems, and Sun
    Microsystems, federal officials said.
    Supporters of Mitnick say the four years Mitnick has spent in jail
    awaiting trial is a harsher term than for many people convicted of violent
    crimes like robbery and assault. Their protest Friday will be seeking a
    more lenient sentence.
    The U.S. attorney for the Central District of California said Mitnick will
    be sentenced to 46 months in prison on June 14 as part of his plea bargain
    agreement with the government.
    Mitnick, whose exploits as a hacker inspired an upcoming Hollywood movie,
    also will be obliged to pay the victims of his crimes from any profits he
    makes from books or movies about his life, a spokesman for the U.S.
    attorney's office said.
    While hacking incidents may not be part of Friday's nationwide protest,
    there may be a surge in attacks across the Internet if Mitnick's sentence
    is perceived as too stiff, said John Vranesevich, the founder and director
    of AntiOnline.
    "Hackers attack when they're mad about something. The demonstration Friday
    will be an attempt to educate," said Vranesevich. "However, if Kevin
    Mitnick is put in jail, there very well could be more attacks after that." 
    Still, other experts said Internet sites should upgrade their security
    against possible attack before Friday.
    "Given the timing, it probably would be a good idea to be more on guard
    than usual," said Jevon Jaconi, the district attorney of Kewaunee County,
    Wisconsin, and an expert in the developing field of cyberspace law.
    Between 70 percent and 80 percent of all Internet hacking attacks come on
    systems that have not updated their security codes, routinely sent by
    computer manufacturers and network administrators, Jaconi said.
    The best way to prevent hacking attacks in the future is to heed those
    security warnings and implement the needed changes, he said.
    Subscribe: mail majordomoat_private with "subscribe isn".
    Today's ISN Sponsor: OSAll [www.aviary-mag.com]

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 13:24:16 PDT