The First World Hacker War : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

May 13, 2001

The First World Hacker War By CRAIG S. SMITH

It was a Big Hack Attack, a harbinger of World Wide Web War I, with "zombies" throwing "worms," Chinese patriots invoking the ultimate sacrifice and American teenagers giving electronic Bronx cheers.

After last month's collision of an American spy plane and a Chinese jet, hackers in the United States and China began defacing Web sites on both sides of the Pacific. Then Chinese hackers, led by a group called the Honkers Union, declared war.

The White House's site was shut down for hours, computers at the California Department of Justice caught a virus and the eastern Ohio's Bellaire School District site played the Chinese national anthem while displaying China's fluttering red flag.

Most attacks involved cybergraffiti. American hackers tended to be insulting ("Slouching Tiger, Ridden Dragon" was slapped on a Chinese site); Chinese hackers, righteous ("We are ready to devote anything to our motherland, including our lives" was left on several American sites).

The worst attacks were coordinated assaults from computer servers commandeered by Chinese hackers, who used them as "zombies," in hacker parlance, to send disruptive signals or even e-mails poisoned with the vicious viruses called worms.

Last week China's Communist Party newspaper, the People's Daily, called the game "Web terrorism" and said the attacks were "unforgivable." Chinese hackers called off the war the next day, claiming they had hacked 1,000 American Web sites.

"We've achieved our goal," the leader of Honkers Union said in one Chinese newspaper. "It's time for it to end."

-- Martin Thompson (, May 15, 2001


WORLD US-Sino cyber war spreads to South Korea

Seoul, May 14: South Korean computers have been attacked by Chinese and US hackers who have been involved in a cyber war over a us spy plane detained by China, officials said.

A South Korean Government computer security agency said164 cases of hacking of sites run by universities, companies, research and private groups had been blamed on the Sino-US cyber war since May 4.

A Korea information security agency official said the most recent case affected a site run by Seoul National University yesterday. The hacker changed the opening page to a screen containing abusive statements about the US Government.

The agency said hackers had manipulated loopholes in a security system that is widely used in South Korea, leading the information and communication ministry to issue an alert to administrative and educational organisations.

Experts said Korea had been used by American and Chinese hackers to get into computers in the rival country without leaving an identity. South Korea has widespread computer links with China and the United States.

There have been hundreds of cases of hackers getting into US and Chinese sites since the dispute over a US spy plane erupted last month, according to reports from the two countries. (AFP)

-- Martin Thompson (, May 15, 2001.

Cyberwar risk for companies

Auckland: Clear signs New Zealand web sites have been drawn into the bitter tit-for-tat cyberwar between United States and Chinese hackers have sent a warning to online businesses that drops in service levels can have serious financial consequences.

Customers of Internet service provider Asia Online - including the Ministry of Health, advertising firm Colenso, and Carter Holt Harvey - suffered a reduction in Internet services after the ISP was hit by a series of denial of service attacks.

While several of Asia Online's major customers were able to fall back on service arrangements with other Internet service providers, smaller business customers and home Internet users were unable to send e-mails or access the Internet.

Asia Online general manager Kevin Francis said the attacks could result in a commercial loss for the ISP and that one customer had already approached the company about receiving a rebate.

"That kind of approach is reasonable if we've broken a service level agreement with a customer," he said.

Mr Francis said his customers had been understanding about the disruptions to services caused by the attacks, but he welcomed recent moves by companies to protect online businesses such as ISPs against commercial losses from such attacks.

"There's room in the market for insurance against this type of loss."

Two United States companies have recently entered the New Zealand market offering policies tailored to businesses trading online - an area that the dominant local insurers have approached with caution.

Infamous attacks on Internet services, such as the Love Bug computer virus, reportedly cost companies billions of dollars but many found their insurers would not cover lost earnings.

Minnesota-based St Paul is offering IT liability cover called Techsure as American International Group (AIG) is launching its NetAdvantage and ProTech policies.

The companies claim their policies cover a range of potentially expensive Internet disasters - from technology glitches, defamation and copyright infringements through to virus transmission, hacking and denial-of-service attacks. - NZPA

Thursday, 10-May 2001 date=10May2001&object=0509350486&type=html

-- Martin Thompson (, May 15, 2001.

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