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WARNING ;from cnn, will hackers attack


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Will hackers attack 6,000 Web sites in 6 hours on July 6?

Thursday, July 3, 2003 Posted: 5:24 AM EDT (0924 GMT)




Organizers established a Web site, listing in broken English the rules for hackers who might participate.




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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government and private technology experts warned Wednesday that hackers plan to attack thousands of Web sites Sunday in a loosely coordinated "contest" that could disrupt Internet traffic.


Organizers established a Web site, defacers-challenge.com, listing in broken English the rules for hackers who might participate. The Web site appeared to operate out of California and cautioned to "deface its crime" -- an apparent acknowledgment that vandalizing Internet pages is illegal.


The Department of Homeland Security said Wednesday it was aware of the hackers' plans but did not expect to issue any formal public warnings. The Chief Information Officers Council, part of the Office of Management and Budget, cautioned U.S. agencies and instructed experts to tighten security at federal Web sites.


"Frankly, hacker challenges occur frequently, and we don't think they all rise to the level of a warning," Homeland Security spokesman David Wray said.


Home Internet users, who typically do not operate Web sites, probably would not be affected directly, said Oliver Friedrichs, the senior manager for security response at Symantec Corp.


An early-warning network for the technology industry, operating with Homeland Security, notified companies that it received "credible information" about the planned attacks and already has detected surveillance probes by hackers looking for weaknesses in corporate and government networks.


"We emphasize that all Web site administrators should ensure that their sites are not vulnerable," wrote Peter Allor of Internet Security Systems Inc., the Atlanta-based company that runs the Information Technology Information Sharing and Analysis Center.


Friedrichs, though, said Symantec's global monitoring network wasn't detecting unusual probes.


"We really haven't seen any of that activity," he said. "We're certainly going to keep watching and looking."


Separately, the New York Office of Cyber-Security and Critical Infrastructure Coordination warned Internet providers and other organizations that the goal of the hackers was to vandalize 6,000 Web sites in six hours.


'A sand-bagging period'

New York officials urged companies to change default computer passwords, begin monitoring Web site activities more aggressively, remove unnecessary functions from server computers and apply the latest software repairs from vendors such as Microsoft Corp.


Chris Rouland, director of the X-force security team at ISS, said researchers monitoring underground chat rooms and other Internet activity detected a drop in the numbers of vandalized Web sites recently and an increase in the types of surveillance scans that typically precede computer break-ins.


"It's kind of a sand-bagging period," said Rouland, who predicted that hackers were quietly breaking into computers and waiting to vandalize them on Sunday.


The purported "prize" for participating hackers was 500-megabytes of online storage space, which made little sense to computer experts. They said hackers capable of breaking into thousands of computers could easily steal that amount of storage on corporate networks.






Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Moved to General Chit-Chat by DaemonJ as this forum seemed more appropriate for the topic.


In response to the post, there are a number of hacker groups that are holding a webpage defacement contest this weekend. I sent a number of my clients a warning eMail asking to ensure that all of their software was fully patch with security updates, their passwords had been changed recently, and other typical security precautions.


In addition, keeping a close on access logs and error logs will also be important so as to see if anyone found a vulnerability in your server but decided to wait before taking advantage of it.

"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence." - A. Einstein

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