City faces up to hack attack

Anarchist groups threaten banking sector

The City of London is on a high state of alert after a number of banks received threats this week from hackers taking part in next week's anti-capitalism demonstrations. "Several of our customers in the City have received telephone threats in the past week from people claiming to be hackers associated with the 'reclaim the streets' riots of last June," said Internet Security Systems (ISS) UK sales and marketing director Kevin Black. "Although some activists' Web sites have poured scorn on press stories warning of a repeat of the attacks on property that accompanied the so-called 'carnival against capitalism', we have no way of knowing whether these threats are substantial or not," he said. According to ISS, just over half of all the financial institutions in the square mile use its security software to protect their global networks. In a bid to outwit hackers ISS has set up a special 24-hour security management hotline from midnight on 29 November to deal with attempts by hackers to disrupt computer networks. It wants to reassure customers alarmed at the prospect of orchestrated hacking attacks from anti-City agitators which are planned to coincide with next week's meeting of the World Trade Organisation in Seattle, Washington. "All this could amount to nothing more than the attempts of one or two disaffected individuals to throw financial IS managers into a panic," said Black. However, there's also the possibility that these callers mean business and there really will be a concerted global campaign to bring down the City's trading systems, he said. The global day of action is scheduled to take place on Tuesday. ® Related Story Anarchists run riot on the Web

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