Lazy Hacker and Little Worm Set Off Cyber War Frenzy
Kim Zetter writes on Threat Level:
Talk of cyberwar is rampant after more than two dozen high-level websites in the United States and South Korea were hit by unsophisticated denial-of-service attacks this week. But cooler heads are pointing to a pilfered five-year-old worm as the source of the traffic, under control of a hacker who apparently did little to bolster his borrowed code against detection.More here.
Nonetheless, the attacks have launched a thousand headlines (or thereabouts) and helped to throw kindling on some long-standing international political flames — with one sworn enemy blaming another for the aggression.
Welcome to the New World Order of cybersecurity.
As reported by numerous media outlets this week, websites belonging to the White House, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service, National Security Agency, Federal Trade Commission, Department of Defense and the State Department, as well as sites for the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq were hit by denial-of-service attacks over the July 4th holiday weekend. The Washington Post website was also reportedly affected by the attacks, launched by a botnet of more than 50,000 computers in several countries (mostly China, South Korea and Japan, according to Whois records) controlled by the hacker.
Then on Tuesday, at least 11 sites in South Korea, including sites for the Ministry of Defense and the presidential Blue House, were also targeted, leading the Associated Press to publish a story prominently quoting anonymous South Korean intelligence officials blaming the attacks on North Korea.