[ISN] Hacker traffic up at HAFB following Sept. 11 attack

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Oct 29 2002 - 22:58:54 PST

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    By Brady Snyder
    Deseret News staff writer
    October 28, 2002
    HILL AIR FORCE BASE - Attempted hacks into military-base computer
    systems have increased in the year following the Sept. 11, 2001,
    terror attacks on America.
    However, it is unknown whether any of those attempted hacks are the
    work of terrorists.
    Layton's Hill Air Force Base is just one U.S. military base engaging
    in a heightened cyber war following last year's attacks on the
    Pentagon and World Trade Center.
    Hill now receives 1 million cyber attacks monthly, up from 100,000
    monthly attacks the base's computer system suffered prior to 9/11,
    reports the base newspaper, The Hilltop Times.
    While John Gilchrist, Hill's chief of information assurance, said
    security precautions forbid him from confirming the newspaper's
    numbers, he did say Hill has witnessed a large increase in cyber
    attacks since 9/11.
    It has been a steady, slow increase, not a sudden jump, Gilchrist
    The increased attacks has Hill's computer defenders on alert.
    "Probably the biggest single difference has been the level of
    intensity or seriousness that we approach the job with," he said.  
    "After 9/11, things changed for everybody."
    There are varying levels of cyber hacks. Some are likely computer
    geeks poking around where they shouldn't be. Others are more serious,
    rising to the level of potential sabotage, Gilchrist said.
    To date, however, Gilchrist said his crew has successfully thwarted
    every attempted hack.
    While there is no classified data available on military systems
    connected to the Internet, Gilchrist said these cyber attackers could
    work to shut down some of Hill's systems.
    It is difficult to determine where the millions of attempted hacks
    originate. In most cases, Gilchrist said attackers will log onto an
    Internet service provider in one country, hack into a system in
    another country and then launch an attack  effectively making it more
    difficult to track the hacker's locale.
    Hill - like other Air Force bases - is aided by the Air Force Computer
    Emergency Response Team to find and prosecute military hackers.
    Raw numbers indicate that most attacks come from inside U.S.  
    borders. However, hacks from Europe and Asia are close seconds,
    Gilchrist said.
    To combat the increased attacks, Hill has beefed up Gilchrist's staff,
    which includes both civilian and military personnel. The base has also
    employed a new intrusion-detection system that monitors nearby cyber
    traffic. That personnel is key to stopping attacks, Lt.  Garrett
    Grochowski said.
    "We certainly don't welcome these attacks, but we've got a great group
    of people whose job is to defend the base," Grochowski said.
    Gilchrist predicts that such cyber attacks at Hill and on other
    military bases will continue to increase. The war on terror and
    heightened hacker-friendly technology will contribute to those
    increases, he said.
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