2002 record year for cyber attacks

by James Middleton, © 1995-2002 VNU Business Publications Ltd. All rights reserved

Tuesday, 3rd September 2002 - Threat rises as 11 September anniversary nears.

Fuelled by a hacker frenzy during August, 2002 has been a record year for digital attacks. And analysts have warned that the number may rise as we approach the 11 September anniversary.

According to security analyst mi2g the number of attacks in August reached 5,580 including a record 1,120 attacks on 18 August alone.

A total of 30,839 attacks were recorded by the analyst for the first eight months of 2002, compared to 31,322 in the whole of 2001.

The firm described its prediction of 45,000 overt digital attacks around the globe during 2002 as a conservative projection.

In particular, mi2g highlighted a growth in the number of pro-Islamic hacker groups coming together to launch digital attacks on the US, the UK, Israel and India since 11 September.

"With the Nato/Serbia and China/Taiwan digital warfare in 1999, it would seem highly likely that the launch of a physical attack on Iraq will see counterattacks from disgruntled Arab, Islamic fundamentalist and anti-American groups," said DK Matai, chairman and chief executive at mi2g.

The company warned that the anniversary of 11 September, together with the increasing sophistication of cyber terrorism groups, could lead to further cyber attacks on the US.

"Despite laws which qualify digital attack as terrorism, we could see the US, and its allies supporting the 'War on Terrorism', attacked digitally as we head towards 11 September and the weeks building up to the proposed attack on Iraq," said Matai.

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