hackers strike U.S. sites
Chinese hackers launched a highly coordinated volley
of attacks on U.S.
governmental and commercial Web sites early Monday morning,
security experts report.
By Brian Krebs
and Steve Gold, Newsbytes
30, 2001 - Copyright
News Network LLC. All rights reserved.
much-anticipated campaign was in apparent retaliation
for nearly 100 U.S. hacker attacks on Chinese state-run
sites following the collision of a U.S. spy plane
and a Chinese jet last month. Last week, a U.S. government-funded
security watchdog, the National Infrastructure Protection
Center, warned the campaign could continue unabated
until at least May 7, the two-year anniversary of
the NATO bombing of a Chinese embassy in Belgrade.
looks as if the campaign was very well orchestrated
to begin around 8 a.m. (ET)," said Mike Assante,
vice president of intelligence the risk assessment
service company Vigilinx. "All the activity we've
been monitoring on Chinese networks shows that quite
a few hacker groups appear to have organized and coordinated
these attacks and have been working toward this date
for several days now."
Vigilinx' comments come as Attrition.org, a hacker
monitoring site, reported that United Press International's
Web site was defaced overnight Sunday, apparently
by Chinese hackers. The Web site was taken offline
around 8 a.m. ET Monday.
Chinese hackers also hit several government Web sites
over the weekend, including the Department of Energy,
the Labor Department, the Department of Health and
Human Services, the Interior Department, the Naval
Computer and Telecommunications Station, and a Web
site on the history of the White House.
Assante said Chinese hacker groups appear to have
set ground rules that the attacks should be limited
to Web page defacements, with the exception of U.S.
government Web sites.
watching for potential escalation in the attacks,
which could include viruses, network penetrations
and distributed denial of service tools," Assante
Security analysts with IDefense Inc. say they have
uncovered an e-mail attack tool that appears to be
targeting the president and the vice president's e-mail
addresses at www.whitehouse.gov. IDefense said several
White House sources could not confirm the attacks.
President Bush has said in the past that he has abandoned
use of e-mail, however, citing privacy concerns.
groups met on IRC (Internet relay chat) at 7 a.m.
today our time," said Michael Cheek, IDefense's
managing editor for intelligence services. "Following
that, they declared official start time for attack
at 21:00 their time, which is 9 am. (ET)."
Cheek said Chinese hacker groups have also targeted
several other high-profile sites for future attacks,
including pages at the FBI, the House of Representatives
and NASA, as well as CNN and the New York Times.
Cheek also said Chinese hackers have advertised a
"ping flood" attack against the White House
Web site to occur 10 a.m. ET on May 4.