http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60954-2002Sep24.html By Brian Krebs washingtonpost.com Staff Writer Tuesday, September 24, 2002; 3:32 PM The FBI is urging network security experts to be on guard against cyber protests timed to coincide with planned demonstrations surrounding this week's meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, D.C. In an alert sent to hundreds of companies that own and operate the nation's most vital information networks, the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) yesterday warned that "a small group that intends to disrupt the meetings with a physical attack may use cyber means to enhance the effects of the physical attack or to complicate the response by emergency services to the attack." "The cyber portion of this attack can be executed by sympathetic hackers or by mercenary hackers seeking publicity," NIPC said. Despite the urgency of the warning, the FBI "has no credible evidence" of an imminent threat, an agency spokesman said. "This is really just to put companies on alert to be aware of the potential for such an attack," NIPC's Paul Bresson said. "In the days of post 9-11, we'd be remiss if we were aware of a potential threat and didn't at least put people on notice about it." Chris Rouland, director of X-Force, the research and development arm of Atlanta-based Internet Security Systems, said there are no signs as yet that protesters have turned to "hacktivism," save for one Web site promoting the idea of a "protester scavenger hunt." Rouland dismissed the notion that protesters might target the nation's communications networks or electric power grid. "Too often, hacktivism is confused with cyberterrorism," he said. "These people are trying to send a message, not disrupt cyber infrastructure." But he said hackers have shown a penchant for mischief during previous global finance meetings. Last year, hackers broke into the Web site for the World Economic Forum and gained access to a confidential list of 27,000 names, including credit card and phone numbers for summit participants. In February, a cyber assault disabled the same site during the forum's meeting in New York. "It's very easy to fault these alerts, but overall I think they are very valuable because they tend to raise awareness of weak spots," Rouland said. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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