http://www.nandotimes.com/technology/story/118547p-1278272c.html [Again its amateur hour on the Internet, the attempts by hackers in trying to take out banks, electric power and communications equipment is buggering up the serious work being done by various military information operations teams around the globe. Not that I have any first hand experience, but I'd bet that its not helping in compromising IDS systems if they are going off all the time. - WK] (October 2, 2001 6:47 p.m. EDT) - Angry computer enthusiasts reeling from the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have lashed out at Web sites connected to Afghanistan by launching Internet attacks that deface home pages with obscenities and anti-Arab slogans. But such "hacktivist" attacks appear to have little effect on the ruling Taliban government -- which banned Internet access in Afghanistan -- and instead create headaches for private Web operators, some of whom are U.S. citizens. One site, the Afghan News Network, was knocked offline for 15 hours after a hacker attack, the site's operator said in an e-mail. "We have received lots of hate e-mail from people," according to the e-mail. The operator of the site, which provides news and updates about Afghanistan, declined to give a name. Those running the site said they are college students and American citizens. The FBI has condemned such vigilante action by hackers. Many attacks were directed specifically at sites connected to Afghanistan because investigators suspect the country is harboring Osama bin Laden, who is accused of masterminding the attacks. The agency's National Infrastructure Protection Center warned Internet users to be alert to "political hacktivism by self-described 'patriot' hackers targeted at those perceived to be responsible for the terrorist attacks." Attempts to interfere with Internet traffic are illegal and punishable by up to five years in prison. But such warnings have had little effect. A hacker apparently operating out of the former Soviet Union has repeatedly defaced an official Taliban Web site. In an e-mail interview, the hacker said his attack was politically motivated. "They bring only war in the world, and they must die," the hacker going by the screen name RyDen wrote. The defaced Web page, which contains several vulgarities, makes reference to terrorists in Chechnya, where Russian troops continue battling Islamic rebels believed to be backed by the Taliban. And a hacker or group of hackers known as Fluffi Bunni temporarily rerouted Internet traffic to point to his Web site, where a page declares, "If you want to see the Internet again, give us Mr. Bin Laden." Many of the hackers boast that they are committed to attacking the infrastructure of the Middle East, going after banks, electric power and communications equipment. So far, though, the attacks barely qualify as graffitti. "Mostly, these are kids playing," said cryptography expert Bruce Schneier, chief technology officer of Counterpane Internet Security Inc. "We've seen several low-scale hacker wars whenever tensions get high, like with China and Japan, Israel and the Arabic world, and China and America. But we haven't seen large-scale government information warfare, with the possible exception of the Arab-Israeli conflict." The hacking community remains divided about such hacktivism, and many experts deride the efforts as little more than tantrums by the children usually behind them, who often have little technical skill. "I don't think it accomplishes anything," said Dorothy Denning, a professor of computer science at Georgetown University. "People engage in it to express anger, to have fun, to score points with their friends -- the same reasons for other hacking activities," she said. "There is one thing hacktivism does," she said. "It's a costly nuisance. You've got to try and defend against it, fix the security problems and clean up the mess." Dave Wilson is the Los Angeles Times' personal technology columnist. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Wed Oct 03 2001 - 06:31:37 PDT