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[] Cyber-terrorists copying hackers: US

Cyber-terrorists copying hackers: US
Kuala Lumpur
August 3, 2005

Cyber-terrorists are attempting to penetrate government networks using
the same methods as hackers and many nations are vulnerable to the
threat, a US State Department official claims.

Michael Alcorn, branch chief of the State Department's Office of
Anti-Terrorism Assistance, said on Tuesday that terrorists were
becoming more tech-savvy.

"The same technique that a hacker would use, the same technology, will
be utilised by somebody with a different political motivation," Alcorn
told the closing session of a week-long training workshop on

During the course, held in conjunction with the Southeast Asia
Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism, officials from Malaysia,
Singapore and the Philippines were trained on assessing weakness in
government networks and how to protect them.

"The problem we're all facing is a global borderless problem, where
attacks can occur anywhere in the world and originate from anywhere
else in the world," Alcorn told reporters.

"We're starting to see more expertise within the terrorist ranks, so
we're reaching out to the countries we have close relationships with
and trying to plan a partnership and plan for this type of thing in
the future."

When asked if many countries were vulnerable to cyber attacks, Alcorn
replied: "In many areas of the world, yes."

Alcorn said governments were preparing for assaults on networks after
past incidents where extremists had looked into such attacks.

He said much of the information about such attempts had come from
"different types of law enforcement activity around the world."

"They are confiscating computers and they're finding evidence on these
computers that indicates (militants) have looked into or are
researching this type of technology," he said.

Alcorn also said militants were increasingly using the internet to
communicate and that there was a need to clamp down on this.

"They're using the internet and some of the same technology to produce
propaganda, recruit online and communicate," he said.

"Communication is a real big issue right now, it's how many of the
terrorists are plotting their plans so it's something we need to
address as well."


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