Islamic hackers step up
© 2002 BBC
Thursday, 29th October 2002 [Excerpt] - Islamic hacking groups opposed
to US plans for action against Iraq are escalating their attacks on websites
run by western governments and large companies, according to security experts.
London-based computer security firm mi2g said October was the worst
month for digital attacks since its records began in 1995.
It estimated that 16,559 attacks were carried out on computer systems and
websites this month.
According to mi2g, which monitors the hacking of websites, the number
of attacks by groups opposed to action against Iraq, or Israeli attacks on
Palestinians has risen tenfold in the last month.
"We have noticed that more and more Islamic
interest hacking groups are beginning to rally under a common anti-US, UK,
Australia, anti-India and anti-Israeli agenda," said the
But mi2g says there is unlikely to be a worldwide network of such
They say the attacks are coming from a handful of small groups probably operating
from Pakistan, the Middle East and Muslim former Soviet Republics.
The most active pro-Islamic hacking groups are USG, with members from Egypt,
Morocco and Eastern Europe, and FBH which is based in Pakistan. The nature
of the internet means websites are open to large-scale attack.
Once the hackers have learned the theory necessary to break security codes
and hack into one website, they will find similar ways to get into many other
sites. These kinds of attacks are mainly used to deface sites and place messages
opposing war with Iraq.
But there are concerns that similar techniques could be used to hack into
military security systems or control systems for nuclear power stations and
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