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[] NIPC Advisory 03-002: Alle in die Cyber-Schützengräben!,

National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC)
Advisory 03-002

"Encourages Heightened Cyber Security as Iraq - US Tensions Increase "
February 11, 2003

The National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) is issuing this
advisory to heighten the awareness of an increase in global hacking
activities as a result of the increasing tensions between the United
States and Iraq.

Recent experience has shown that during a time of increased
international tension, illegal cyber activity: spamming, web
defacements, denial of service attacks, etc., often escalates. This
activity can originate within another country, which is party to the
tension. It can be state sponsored or encouraged, or come from domestic
organizations or individuals independently. Additionally, sympathetic
individuals and organizations worldwide tend to conduct hacking
activity, which they view as somehow contributing to the cause. As
tensions rise, it is prudent to be aware of, and prepare for this type
of illegal activity.

Attacks may have one of several motivations:
* Political activism targeting Iraq or those sympathetic to Iraq by
self-described "patriot" hackers.
* Political activism or disruptive attacks targeting United States
systems by those opposed to any potential conflict with Iraq.
* Criminal activity masquerading or using the current crisis to further
personal goals. 

Regardless of the motivation, the NIPC reiterates such activity is
illegal and punishable as a felony. The U.S. Government does not condone
so-called "patriotic hacking" on its behalf. Further, even Apatriotic
hackers@ can be fooled into launching attacks against their own
interests by exploiting malicious code that purports to attack the other
side when in fact it is designed to attack the interests of the side
sending it. In this and other ways Apatriotic hackers@ risk becoming
tools of their enemy.

During times of potentially increased cyber disruption, owners/operators
of computers and networked systems should review their defensive
postures and procedures and stress the importance of increased vigilance
in system monitoring. Computer users and System Administrators can limit
potential problems through the use of "security best practices"
procedures. Some of the most basic and effective measures that can be
taken are:

* Increase user awareness
* Update anti-virus software
* Stop potentially hostile/suspicious attachments at the E-Mail server
* Utilize filtering to maximize security
* Establish policies and procedures for responding and recovery

All users should be aware that malicious code (e.g., worms and viruses)
can be introduced to spread rapidly by using patriotic or otherwise
catchy titles, encouraging users to click on a document, picture, word,
etc., which automatically spreads the damaging code. For additional
security checklists, please refer to the following sites:

The NIPC encourages recipients of this advisory to report computer
intrusions and /or other crime to federal, state, or local law
enforcement, their local FBI office and other appropriate authorities.
Recipients may report incidents online to The NIPC Watch and Warning Unit
can be reached at (202) 323-3204/3205/3206 or nipc -
 watch -!
- fbi -

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