RE: [ISN] Hackers could be planning major attack, says White House

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Fri Nov 15 2002 - 03:26:38 PST

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    Forwarded from: "Arthur, T.A., CTR3" <AATHEODat_private>
    Why is a DIRECTOR of any kind of Cyberspace Security, let alone the
    Whitehouse director saying things like "Driven to the backstreets and
    back alleys of the Internet"?
    Alarm bells are ringing. 
    Secondly, was the estimate (even the far fetched, over-inflated
    estimates some companies put out) ever stated as in "the BILLIONS"?
    Further, this article is toned as if the concept of a DDOS is new and
    "slapper" is a new threat, but the cited examples of EBAY and YAHOO
    hacking were years ago.
    Be careful folks, something wicked this way comes.
    -----Original Message-----
    From: InfoSec News [mailto:isnat_private]
    Sent: Thursday, November 14, 2002 1:42 AM
    To: isnat_private
    Subject: [ISN] Hackers could be planning major attack, says White House
    By Shane Harris
    November 12, 2002 
    A new computer worm infecting a popular World Wide Web technology is
    proof that computer hackers have grown more sophisticated and could be
    preparing a significant attack, according to a senior White House
    Marcus Sachs, director of communication and infrastructure protection
    at the White House Office of Cyberspace Security, said hackers driven
    to "the back streets and back alleys of the Internet" by intense law
    enforcement scrutiny following the Sept. 11 attacks have quietly been
    building new threats. The new worm, widely known as Slapper, is a
    prime example of their abilities, he said.
    Officials believe millions of devices are vulnerable to Slapper, which
    is a computer code that burrows into a server, the program that
    provides the files that constitute Web pages. It enters through a
    well-known weakness in the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) that connects
    servers to the Internet. Once inside, the worm forces the server to
    seek out other infected machines, forming an army of so-called
    "zombies" that could bombard Web sites with bogus requests for
    information, causing a massive traffic jam on the Internet.
    The attack method, known as a distributed denial-of-service attack,
    has been used to disrupt service on sites such as Yahoo! and eBay.  
    Attacks last year by other worms, such as Code Red and Nimda, caused
    billions of dollars in damage and targeted some government Web sites,
    including a White House server.
    The Slapper worm was identified two months ago, but federal officials
    still are concerned that many infected or at-risk organizations and
    individuals haven't taken adequate steps to protect themselves. The
    FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center has found four
    variants of the worm, and notes that rates of new infection have
    declined. However, the agency also has warned that between 25,000 and
    30,000 servers have already been infected. A steady buildup of
    infections preceded the Code Red and Nimda attacks.
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