Singapore: Fewer hacking for fear of terrorism
(c) 2002 Singapore Press Holdings Limited.
Monday, 7th January 2002 - There were 3,853 Net defacements worldwide
in May 2001. This dropped to 815 in Sept. There was a marked decrease in global
website defacements after the Sept 11 terrorist attacks in the US 'as
hackers realised the dangers of being implicated in global terrorism',
according to a study just released by London-based mi2g Intelligence Unit.
'However, there is little evidence to show that
this menace has gone away', says
D K Matai, chairman and CEO of mi2g. 'There have already been 79 overt hacking
attacks in the first 24 hours of 2002.'
The study says the drop in hacking post-Sept 11 was a result of the US Department
of Justice linking hacking to terrorism through the Surveillance and Anti-terrorism
Bill submitted to Congress on Sept 19. 'The UK
government's Terrorism Act 2000 in which the disruption of key computer systems
was classified as terrorism has also played a part in heightening awareness
within the hacking community', Mr Matai says.
Last year, the number of websites defaced rose four-fold to 30,388 globally.
In May 2001, there were 3,853 Internet defacements worldwide. This dropped
to 815 in Sept 2001. Last year, about 63 per cent (19,183) of all defacements
of Web servers were those running Microsoft Windows and Microsoft IIS/PWS
combination; and 18 per cent (5,521) were attacks on the Linux operating system
with Apache combination.
'Website defacements cannot be dismissed as
electronic graffiti,' Mr Matai says. 'Between
1999 (4,195) and 2001 (30,388), this form of overt hacking has risen seven-fold.
However, where website defacements have become public knowledge, in some instances
there have been significant declines in share prices, loss of earnings and
reputation, as well as a dent in customer confidence.'
The study reports that most hackings take place because of incomplete security
policies and implementation. 'The best way to ward off the threat from hackers
is to keep the personnel policy and systems security architecture continuously
updated,' the study says. For details, visit www.mi2g.com/status