Information Warfare: June 21, 2002

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Internet security experts are beginning to detect an alliance of anti-U.S., anti-Israel and anti-India hackers who are trying to pool their efforts to achieve a more significant impact. While there have been more attacks against U.S. and Israeli web sites since September 11, 2001, these two nations contain the world's largest concentration (per capita) of Internet talent and are not easy to take down. Major commercial and government operations in both these nations have also been taking computer security more seriously since September 11, 2001, which has also made it harder for the casual (often an anti-social teenage male) hacker to make much of an impression. But the threat is there (as detected by monitoring chat rooms, email and other sources) and is being taken seriously. Some groups, however, operate openly (more or less). These groups call themselves hacktivists (activists who use low level hacking to publicize their positions). Three hacktivist groups have been identified as backing the Dark Side in the War on Terrorism. These are; USG (Unix Security Guards), an anti-Israel alliance that claims responsibility for 87 known attacks against Israeli sites in the last month. WFD (World's Fantabulous Defacers), an alliance of 12 Pakistani hacker groups that claims (or is blamed) responsibility for 445 attacks (mainly against Indian sites) since November 2000. AIC (Anti-India Crew) is another Pakistani hacker alliance. Since it announced it's formation in July 2001, it has claimed responsibility for 422 attacks (mostly against Indian targets). Note that Pakistan has a long history with software development and hacking. The first computer virus to spread worldwide (the Brain virus), was created in Pakistan by Pakistani programmers. If the Islamic world is going to recruit world class hackers for hacktivism or something more serious, the manpower is likely to come from Pakistan. But at the moment, most Pakistanis are distracted by possible nuclear war with India. That sort of thing does tend to hold your attention.

 


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