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'Hacktivists' Protest War by Attacking Web Sites; Most Actions Seem to be by Pro-Islamic Groups

The disturbing image of a dead child appeared Tuesday on dozens of Web sites of U.S. and British companies, becoming the latest example of an escalating barrage of anti-war Internet “hacktivism.” Since the war’s start, several thousand Web sites have been defaced with anti-war images and slogans, Internet security experts say. Most often, the sites are owned by small businesses and non-profits, whose sites haven’t been tweaked to deflect hackers. Some of the hackers are Western anti-war and human rights activists. But most of the attacks appear to originate with pro-Islamic hacker groups, says F-secure, a Finnish Internet security firm. “We’ve seen spikes of defacements before, but nothing of this magnitude,” says Mikko Hyponnen, F-secure’s anti-virus manager. Web page defacements first gained wide notice during the Serbian-NATO conflict in 1999. Full Story

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