Terrorism: October 4, 2002

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The war on terror has a growing Internet component. A British computer security firm, mi2g, announced that a coalition of pro-Moslem hackers, the Unix Security Guards, have made 207 serious attacks on Unix\Linux Internet servers in September, compared to 21 in August. The firm defines "serious attacks" as those that either shut down a server (a DDOS, Distributed Denial of Service attack), deface at least one web page or get access to data on a server. The firm counted 11,080 such attacks world wide for September, and 43,185 for the first nine months of the year. The majority of Internet servers use Unix or Linux software. There is no commonly accepted method for counting world wide hacker activity, but firms like mi2g compile databases that give a good sense of what is actually going on out there. USG currently consists of Middle Eastern and East European hacker groups rD, Inkubus, Egyptian|Fighter, hein and ShellCode. These groups serve a useful purpose as they attract potential terrorists to known organizations that are monitored by intelligence organizations. This type of surveillance has already led to a number of important terrorist arrests.


 

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