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Topic 62 of 108: computer terrorism in the post 9/11 world

Fri, Oct 26, 2001 (08:09) | Paul Terry Walhus (terry)
Computer security has taken on a new meaning with the events of 9/11/2001.


While computer network break-ins have long been almost exclusively the
work of joyriding, bored teenagers, security and law-enforcement
professionals believe the threat is about to shift from run-of-the-mill
hackers toward professional criminals, industrial spies, hostile
governments and terrorists. Eventually, say experts, computer attacks
are likely to bankrupt companies, compromise U.S. security and perhaps
even kill hundreds or thousands of citizens by disrupting computer
control of anything from traffic signals to food supply transport.
"These threats are real," says Jack Holleran, former technical director
of the National Security Agency's National Computer Security Center
and now an independent computer security consultant. "It's just a
matter of when, and it will be sooner rather than later."

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14 responses total.

 Topic 62 of 108 [news]: computer terrorism in the post 9/11 world
 Response 1 of 14: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Fri, Oct 26, 2001 (08:10) * 25 lines 

The World's No.1 Science & Technology News Service 
Devastating attacks on the net "imminent", says report
14:27   25  October  01
Duncan Graham-Rowe
A new wave of devastating internet attacks is just waiting to happen,
says a report by a US internet watchdog. What is more, there is there
is currently little chance of preventing it.

The threat is a variation of the "denial of service" (DoS) attack,
commonly used by malicious hackers to block a website by bombarding it
with spurious requests. However, the new threat would target routers,
key hubs of the internet's infrastructure, instead of individual

"We believe this to be an imminent and real threat with a potentially
high impact," says the new report, Trends in Denial of Service Attack
Technology, published by the Computer Emergency Response Team, at
Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

 Topic 62 of 108 [news]: computer terrorism in the post 9/11 world
 Response 2 of 14: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Fri, Oct 26, 2001 (08:11) * 3 lines

Kevin Houle's talk at NANOG on Monday.

 Topic 62 of 108 [news]: computer terrorism in the post 9/11 world
 Response 3 of 14: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Fri, Nov  9, 2001 (09:47) * 23 lines 
Thursday November 8 8:02 AM ET

U.S. Prepares for Cyberwar -- the War Next Time

By Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Even as it fights in Afghanistan (news - web
sites) with bombs and guns and allies on horseback, the U.S. military
is gearing up to use computers and code as potentially decisive weapons
in the next phases of its campaign.

The goal would be to disable air defense systems, scramble enemy
logistics and perhaps infect software through tactics being honed by a
joint task force set up in 1999 under the Colorado Springs,
Colorado-based U.S. Space Command.

The U.S. military has been working on tools that could wreak
electronic havoc on countries accused of harboring terrorists as well
as on ways of defending global networks against cyberattack.

More details:

 Topic 62 of 108 [news]: computer terrorism in the post 9/11 world
 Response 4 of 14: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sat, Nov 24, 2001 (20:39) * 24 lines 
November 23, 2001
Cyberspace Seen as Potential Battleground

[G] overnment officials are warning that cyberattacks are likely as
retribution for the United States campaign in Afghanistan, and at the same
time, computer security experts are seeing increasingly numerous and more
powerful attacks from traditional hackers.

So far, most technologically proficient attackers are hackers or insiders
with no terrorist intent, while the terrorists are not yet very proficient,
Frank J. Cilluffo, an expert on terrorism at the Center for Strategic and
International Studies in Washington, said during Congressional testimony in
October. But, calling cybersecurity the "gaping hole" in the nation's
infrastructure defense plans, he said, "It is only a matter of time before
the convergence of bad guys and good stuff occurs."

"While bin Laden may have his finger on the trigger," he added, "his
grandson might have his finger on the mouse."

More at:

 Topic 62 of 108 [news]: computer terrorism in the post 9/11 world
 Response 5 of 14: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sat, Nov 24, 2001 (20:40) * 39 lines 
"US shuts down Somalia internet"

"Somalia's only internet company and a key telecoms business have been
forced to close because the United States suspects them of terrorist


"Both companies have stated categorically they they are not linked to

Along with denying all internet access to Somalis, the closures have
severely restricted international telephone lines and shut down vitally
needed money transfer facilities.

Correspondents say the closure of the companies will have a devastating
effect on the country, which desperately needs the services they provide."

"The BBC's Hassan Barise in Mogadishu said more than 80% of Somalis depend
on money they receive from relatives outside the country.

"He said all internet cafes have now shut down and international phone
lines run by two other companies are failing to cope with the extra
pressure of calls.

He also pointed out that the United Nations, local and international aid
agencies, as well as the government itself all relied heavily on internet
access, now denied."

"I would say it is very depressing and if I could find any stronger word
than that I would say it," he said."


"Reports say the Somali Internet Company was forced to close when it
realised that its international gateway had been cut off."

 Topic 62 of 108 [news]: computer terrorism in the post 9/11 world
 Response 6 of 14: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sat, Nov 24, 2001 (21:37) * 7 lines

At least one antivirus software company, McAfee Corp., contacted the FBI
on Wednesday to ensure its software wouldn't inadvertently detect the
bureau's snooping software and alert a criminal suspect.

 Topic 62 of 108 [news]: computer terrorism in the post 9/11 world
 Response 7 of 14: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Fri, Jan 18, 2002 (13:52) * 28 lines 

September 28, 2001
Techies to the rescue!
Local computer buffs are saying the Sept. 11 World Trade Center
attacks showed how desperately unprepared the city was from an
information technology standpoint - and Washington is set to do
something about it.
"This country needs the equivalent of a National Guard for IT
professionals," said Silicon Alley honcho Andrew Rasiej, founder of the
charity MOUSE, which helps wire public schools.
While land and cell phones were overloaded, New Yorkers wandered the
city with pictures of missing relatives "like Kosovans," said Rasiej,
who found there was no easy way to use his tech skills when disaster
Rasiej's idea has raised the interest of Ron Wyden, the Oregonian who
chairs the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Technology and
Space. He has written to tech leaders such as Bill Gates, Steve
Ballmer, Carly Fiorina, Lou Gerstner, Andy Grove and Steve Case,
inviting them to Washington next week for hearings on what could turn
into the National Emergency Technology Guard.
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 Topic 62 of 108 [news]: computer terrorism in the post 9/11 world
 Response 8 of 14: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Fri, Jan 18, 2002 (13:52) * 9 lines

"LaBrea is a small Linux-based application that puts unused
IP addresses on your network to use, creating a "tarpit" which can
stop or slow down scans of your address space. This paper details
the technical aspects of how LaBrea works as well as the
tactical advantages of deploying LaBrea on your network."

 Topic 62 of 108 [news]: computer terrorism in the post 9/11 world
 Response 9 of 14: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Fri, Jan 18, 2002 (13:54) * 36 lines 
Sudan Bank Hacked, Bin Laden Info Found
By Ned Stafford, Newsbytes
27 Sep 2001, 2:46 PM CST
A group of U.K.-based hackers has cracked computers at the AlShamal
Islamic Bank in Sudan and collected data on the accounts of the Al
Qaeda terrorist organization and its leader Osama bin Laden, Kim
Schmitz, a flamboyant German hacker/businessman, has claimed.
Schmitz, who has offered a $10 million reward for the capture of bin
Laden, told Newsbytes that the information has been turned over to the
FBI. Bin Laden, a millionaire Saudi exile whose base is now
Afghanistan, is suspected of being the driving force behind the deadly
Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon with
hijacked planes.

The bank Schmitz claimed was hacked was mentioned Wednesday by Sen.
Carl Levin, D-Mich. during a Senate Banking Committee hearing.
According to CNN, Levin referred to a 1996 State Department report
that said bin Laden had provided the AlShamal Islamic Bank with $50
million in start-up capital.
Last week, Schmitz, who lives in Munich, posted letters on his Web
site rallying politicians to the cause of fighting terrorism and
offering his hacking expertise. "I received plenty of e-mails from
hackers around the world offering their services," he said.
Schmitz founded a group that numbers around 23 hackers called "Young
Intelligent Hackers Against Terror." He calls the group YIHAT, which is
similar to the word Jihad, which is Arabic for Holy War.
Schmitz said that last Friday, a Sudanese banker sent the group an
e-mail after reading about the $10 million reward, informing the
group that Al Qaeda and bin Laden have accounts at AlShamal Islamic

 Topic 62 of 108 [news]: computer terrorism in the post 9/11 world
 Response 10 of 14: Wolf  (wolf) * Sun, Jan 20, 2002 (22:31) * 1 lines 
yeah, the cybernerds are being called to action (no offense, i consider myself a nerd)

 Topic 62 of 108 [news]: computer terrorism in the post 9/11 world
 Response 11 of 14: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Wed, Jun 26, 2002 (21:30) * 12 lines 
]Unsettling signs of al Qaeda's aims and skills in cyberspace have led some government experts to conclude that terrorists are at the threshold of using the Internet as a direct instrument of bloodshed. The new threat bears little resemblance to familiar financial disruptions by hackers responsible for viruses and worms. It comes instead at the meeting points of computers and the physical structures they control.

U.S. analysts believe that by disabling or taking command of the floodgates in a dam, for example, or of substations handling 300,000 volts of electric power, an intruder could use virtual tools to destroy real-world lives and property. They surmise, with limited evidence, that al Qaeda aims to employ those techniques in synchrony with "kinetic weapons" such as explosives.

more at

 Topic 62 of 108 [news]: computer terrorism in the post 9/11 world
 Response 12 of 14: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Wed, Jul 17, 2002 (09:25) * 33 lines 
How does al-Qaida stay organised when its members are in hiding and
scattered across the world? Easy - it runs a website, says Paul Eedle

Wednesday July 17, 2002
The Guardian

For a secret organisation hunted by the intelligence services of the
most powerful nations on earth, al-Qaida has a remarkably public

It is a website run by the Centre for Islamic Studies and Research.
Since the start of the war on terrorism, the site has been producing
hundreds of pages of material to rally support among radical Muslims,
scare the west and enable al-Qaida cells to operate independently of
Osama bin Laden and other leaders now in hiding.

The site is entirely in Arabic, which means that tens of millions of
people who hate American policies on the Middle East can read it, but
almost nobody in either the governments or the media of the west can
understand a word.

The website is central to al-Qaida's strategy to ensure that its war
with the US will continue even if many of its cells across the world
are broken up and its current leaders are killed or captured. The
function is to deepen and broaden worldwide Muslim support, allowing
al-Qaida or successor organisations to fish for recruits, money and
political backing.


 Topic 62 of 108 [news]: computer terrorism in the post 9/11 world
 Response 13 of 14: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Wed, Jul 17, 2002 (09:27) * 1 lines 
So, should we bomb the isp that hosts it, or hack it to pieces?

 Topic 62 of 108 [news]: computer terrorism in the post 9/11 world
 Response 14 of 14: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Fri, Sep 20, 2002 (06:30) * 29 lines 
September 18, 2002

UK Computer Programmer Held on Terror Charge

Filed at 6:24 p.m. ET

LONDON (Reuters) - A British-based computer programmer has been
charged with allegedly collecting or possessing information which could
aid a terrorist attack, London police said Wednesday.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said Mohammed Abdullah Azam, 32, was
arrested Sunday in Luton, near London, where he lived.

The spokesman would not comment on whether any specific group or
target had been identified -- either inside or outside Britain -- but
said the information could have been used in a terrorist attack.

``He has been charged under the Terrorism Act 2000 with collection of
information of a kind likely to be useful to persons committing or
preparing an act of terrorism or that he had in his possession
documents or records containing information of that kind,'' the
spokesman said.

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