Magazine article Security Management

Vandals with a Conscience? (Tech Talk)

Magazine article Security Management

Vandals with a Conscience? (Tech Talk)

Article excerpt

Cyberdelinquents who use their knowledge of information security to compromise a Web site and deface an organization's Web page may be nothing more than a nuisance, the online equivalent of the graffitists who spray-paint their initials on brick walls. Or they may be dangerous cyberterrorists. Either way, they showed a brief glimpse of their soft side after the terrorist attacks last year.

Statistics from two groups that monitor Web site defacements show that defacements dropped dramatically in the wake of the September 11 attacks. According to the Alldas.de defacement archive, defacements peaked in May 2001 when almost 3,500 Web sites were reported to have been compromised and altered by 472 individual attackers. That number plummeted after the terrorist attacks, and September statistics noted only 225 defacements, a decrease of more than 93 percent, committed by 74 hackers. The site collects statistics from defacers who forward the site's URL via e-mail to Alldas. …

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