Information Warfare: Ominous Network Mapping Activity

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February 12, 2006: Computer service companies, which also watch out for the network security of their clients, noted a large increase in suspicious Internet traffic last year. A lot of this was spam and the usual attempts to break into other peoples computers. But a huge amount of the additional traffic was just mapping where everything was. This was considered ominous, especially from a military point of view. That amount of mapping would be a prerequisite to a major attack on the Internet. It could also mean collecting information for specific attacks on military targets, without bringing the entire net down.

The military Cyber War organizations are not saying anything, although it is known that they also monitor suspicious activity on the net. That silence is understandable. If the mapping is part of a military operation, than potential targets don't what to admit how much they do, or do not, know.

Then again, all that activity could just be a result of more professional criminals getting into the Internet fraud business. In the last year, much more of the Internet fraud has been carried out by gangs, rather than lots of individual hackers. The gangs are well organized, and have the resources to carry out extensive mapping operations. Thus the situation could be a prelude to major Internet based heists.

 


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