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Old 17-September-2001, 22:03
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Default Internet Used for Terror Retaliation, but Hackers Disagree

from computerwire.com
A hacker using the handle "Fluffi Bunni" on Friday defaced 10,000 web sites with a message attacking "all those who justify murder in the name of their religion" and drawing attention to the FBI's $5m reward on the information leading to the arrest of suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden.

The move was an early instance of what could escalate into an all-out retaliatory attack by teenaged crackers in the US and friendly nations against their perceived enemies in the Middle East. A group calling itself "The Dispatchers", led by a well- known web site defacer known as "The Rev", are gearing up to perform massive distributed denial of service attacks against ISPs in Palestine and Afghanistan, according to a report on GovTech.com.

The FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Agency last week warned companies about "Political hacktivism by self-described 'patriot' hackers targeted at those perceived to be responsible for the terrorist attacks." The NIPC also warned of old viruses being renamed with filenames related to the terrorist attacks of September 11, in order to spur their propagation.

According to GovTech.com, The Dispatchers, which number up to about 300 individuals, are expanding their network of compromised "slave" computers, in order to launch DDoS attacks on Middle Eastern internet infrastructure. These attacks stop the flow of traffic through target routers and servers by flooding them with meaningless packets of data. Apparently Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq are targets.

What the group hopes to achieve is not clear - Afghanistan's ruling Taliban has already banned internet access, due to the amount of immoral content available on the web. That apart, internet access would be an unnecessary luxury for Afghan citizens, many of whom only have access to basic services such as electricity on a sporadic basis. Anecdotal evidence suggests most Afghanistan residents that wish to use the internet dial into ISPs in neighboring Pakistan, a nation friendly to both Afghanistan and the US.

Respected German white-hat hacker group the Chaos Computer Club condemned any moves by crackers to use the internet as a tool in the emerging conflict. "Electronic communication infrastructures like the internet are now necessary to contribute to international understanding," said CCC spokesperson Andy Mueller- Maguhn (who is also a director of the Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers). "In a situation like this, which is understandably tense, it's simply not acceptable to cut lines of communication and provide a stronger foundation for ignorance."

This kind of sentiment was clearly not enough to sway Fluffi Bunni, who targeted, seemingly at random, a British ISP to make his point. Rather than cracking each site individually, Fluffi Bunni cracked the name servers of NetBenefit Plc, which operates a domain name registrar called NetNames, altering the DNS entries of some 10,000 web sites to point to a single page containing the hacker's message.

Some of the big-name sites affected belonged to Gillette, Barclaycard, The Guardian, Scoot, News International, Guardian Direct, the Bank of Scotland and the Virgin Group. NetBenefit managed to correct the problem after about an hour, and is reportedly investigating how the incident occurred. The offices of NetNames, based in New York, were closed on Friday and spokespeople unavailable for comment.

The defacement page is titled: "We're Coming for you Oslahmamama", and contains a partially informed, typographically challenged, though apparently well-meaning critique of religious extremism and US foreign policy. Like the recent defacement of the Taliban's web site, performed by a different hacker, Fluffi Bunni also draws attention to the $5m reward for bin Laden's arrest.

Computer cracking for political purposes, often referred to as "hacktivism", gained notoriety following the recent clash between the US and China, when an American spy plane crashed into a Chinese jet and was subsequently detained for a week.
Sil
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Old 18-September-2001, 04:41
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Worldlife Worldlife is offline
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Food for serious thought.. thanks Silv.

Does this show indications for the way future wars might be conducted? Maybe we will no longer have to kill and maim people.

Would the side results of intellectual battles along these lines bring developments that might be of benefit also?
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