[ISN] FBI Issues Cyberattack Advisory

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Thu Feb 13 2003 - 23:27:59 PST

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    By Dennis Fisher
    February 13, 2003 
    The FBI's cybersecurity arm is warning that the imminent threat of war 
    with Iraq and escalating tensions with North Korea could lead to 
    increased attacks against U.S. networks. 
    "Recent experience has shown that during a time of increased
    international tension, illegal cyber activity... often escalates," the
    FBI's warning says. This activity can be state sponsored or can
    originate within another country which is party to the tension. It can
    be state sponsored or encouraged or come from domestic organizations
    or individuals independently. As tensions rise, it is prudent to be
    aware of, and prepare for this type of illegal activity."
    The clearest example of these kinds of politically motivated attacks
    is the brief increase in activity between Chinese and American hackers
    during the spy plane crisis in 2001. Security experts say there were
    numerous incidents in which U.S.-based hackers - or those sympathetic
    to the American stance on the issue - defaced Chinese-owned Web sites,
    and vice versa.
    The attacks followed an incident in which a U.S. surveillance plane 
    collided with a Chinese fighter jet, killing the Chinese pilot. 
    The National Infrastructure Protection Center also discouraged hackers 
    sympathetic to the U.S. cause from launching attacks against Iraqi or 
    North Korean networks and Web sites. 
    "Regardless of the motivation, the NIPC reiterates such activity is 
    illegal and punishable as a felony," the group's warning says. "The 
    U.S. government does not condone so-called 'patriotic hacking' on its 
    behalf. Further, even patriotic hackers can be fooled into launching 
    attacks against their own interests by exploiting malicious code that 
    purports to attack the other side when in fact it is designed to 
    attack the interests of the side sending it." 
    The NIPC's warning comes at a time when the country is on guard 
    against what CIA and FBI officials say are credible and specific 
    terrorist threats. In addition to the ongoing preparations for a 
    possible war in Iraq, government and military leaders are also dealing 
    with the possibility of a terrorist strike against U.S. assets here or 
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