The U.S. government and private technology experts warned Wednesday that hackers plan to attack thousands of Web sites Sunday in a loosely co-ordinated "contest" that could disrupt Internet traffic.
An early-warning network for the technology industry, operating with the Department of Homeland Security, notified companies that it received "credible information" about the planned attacks and already has detected surveillance probes by hackers looking for weaknesses in corporate and government networks.
"We emphasize that all Web site administrators should ensure that their sites are not vulnerable," wrote Peter Allor of Internet Security Systems Inc., the Atlanta-based company that runs the Information Technology Information Sharing and Analysis Center.
Separately, the New York Office of Cyber-Security and Critical Infrastructure Coordination warned Internet providers and other organizations that the goal of the hackers was to vandalize 6,000 Web sites in six hours.
New York officials urged companies to change default computer passwords, begin monitoring Web site activities more aggressively, remove unnecessary functions from server computers and apply the latest software repairs from vendors such as Microsoft Corp.
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