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Story from (SecurityFocus)

A hacker group marred hundreds of Web sites with digital graffiti last night in an apparent response to the onset of the U.S.-led war against Iraq, prompting security experts to warn of further cyberattacks in the days to come.

Unix Security Guards, a pro-Islamic hacking group, defaced nearly 400 Web sites Wednesday evening with antiwar slogans written in Arabic and English, according to iDefense, a Reston, Va.-based Internet security firm.

Text posted on sites by the hacker group said the defacements were the beginning of "the new era of cyber war we promised! More is coming, just like the US do [sic] what it wants to the world, we will do what we want to the Internet. Stop
the US terroristes [sic] and we will stop! Viva Iraq!"

The attacks were typical of the sort of "hacktivism" that has accompanied international conflicts in the past, said Jim Melnick, director of threat intelligence for iDefense.

Unix Security Guards includes hackers from Egypt, Morocco, Kuwait and Indonesia who in the past have defaced Web sites with anti-Israeli messages, said D.K. Matai, executive chairman of Mi2G, a British firm that monitors hacker activity.

Matai said that his group has tracked a marked "upward trend" in attacks on U.S.- and U.K.-based Web sites since the beginning of March.

"We fully expect an increase in the number of protests against the war
by way of attacks on U.S. and U.K. businesses," Matai said.

An online archive of the defaced Web sites is available at

Cybersecurity officials at the Department of Homeland Security did not return telephone calls seeking comment about the reported hacking incidents. But earlier this week, the department said it was boosting efforts to monitor the Internet. The department said it would work with other government agencies to guard against cyberattacks, and asked the private sector and Internet users at large to report "unusual activity or intrusion attempts" to the federal government or local law enforcement.

In recent weeks, several Internet viruses and worms have emerged that attempt to exploit public interest in the conflict with Iraq.

On March 17, anti-virus vendors and security experts warned users to be on the lookout for the "Ganda" worm, a virus that promises a screensaver program with pictures "taken by one of the US spy satellites during one of it's [sic] missions over Iraq."

The virus tries to shut down various anti-virus and security products running on the recipient's machine, and then attempts to delete vital system files. The message is signed "VX Heavens," a reference to an underground virus-writing group that has posted messages urging the United States to "stop the oil war."

One particularly destructive virus -- dubbed the "Lisa" worm -- began infecting computers running Microsoft Outlook e-mail accounts and music file-sharing software late last month. "Lisa" comes with a message urging recipients to click "Yes" and "vote against the war!"

But "Lisa" attempts to delete critical system files as soon as someone opens the e-mail, and on some Microsoft operating systems the virus tries to erase all data on the user's hard drive. The virus then tries to mail itself to all of the contacts in the victim's Microsoft Outlook address book.

The "Wanor" worm, which also spreads through Microsoft Outlook and file-sharing networks, comes with a subject heading, "Not War!" and contains a message that reads: "You show us every day the danger that you represent for the world. Leave us in peace."

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