FBI Warns of Possible New Cyber Attacksgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
FBI Warns of Possible New Cyber Attacks By Jim Wolf Dec 1 11:01pm ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Companies doing business on the Internet should tighten their defenses against a possible new wave of cyber attacks, an FBI-led group aimed at protecting vital systems said on Friday.
The multi-agency National Infrastructure Protection Center said it had detected an increase in ``hacker'' activity designed to steal proprietary information from U.S. electronic commerce sites.
The perpetrators were exploiting known vulnerabilities in Windows NT and, to a lesser extent, Unix, operating systems, to break in, an advisory note said.
``In most cases the hacker activity had been ongoing for several months before the victim became aware of the intrusion,'' the center said on its Web site, www.nipc.gov.
Citing FBI investigations and unspecified other information, the center ``strongly recommends that all computer network systems administrators check relevant systems and apply updated patches as necessary,'' the advisory said.
Special attention should be paid to systems ``related to e-commerce or e-banking/financial business,'' it added.
DENIAL OF SERVICE ATTACKS
In February, a series of so-called denial of service attacks knocked out for hours Web sites run by Yahoo!, Amazon.com, eBay, Datek Online, ZDNet, Buy.com and others.
In such an attack, one or more hacker finds a number of unprotected computers. Those computers are then instructed to send a huge amount of data to a target Web site, swamping it and rendering it inoperable.
The infrastructure protection center, based at the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said it was analyzing the latest hacker activity and would provide more details later.
It urged Internet users to report illegal or malicious activities to the authorities.
The FBI officer who serves as the center's top cyber cop, Michael Vatis, said in a conference keynote speech on Thursday that the cyber threat to e-commerce was ``real and growing.''
Among the dangers, he cited hackers, organized crime and countries developing ``information warfare.'' To demonstrate this point, Vatis used a slide showing quotes from two Chinese strategists, one modern and one ancient.
``There is a need for a greater alliance between public and private sectors'' to deal with cyber threats, Vatis told an e-security conference in Arlington, Va., outside Washington.
-- Martin Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 01, 2000