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Patriotic hacking could backfire

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US script kiddies were warned this week that "patriotic" hacking attacks against America's enemies are not to be condoned, and might even backfire.

An alert by the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) this week warns that "global hacking activities are likely to increase" as a result of heightened tensions between the United States and Iraq.

"Recent experience has shown that during a time of increased international tension, illegal cyber activity: spamming, web defacements, denial of service attacks etc., often escalates," it asserts.

No evidence is given for this dubious claim but, undaunted, the NIPC presses on to speculate on the possible motives of would-be attackers.

We could see political activism targeting Iraq or those sympathetic to Iraq by "patriot" hackers or attacks against US systems by those opposed to conflict, either in America or overseas. Then again we fight see "criminal activity masquerading or using the current crisis to further personal goals", the NIPC speculates.

The NIPC notice offers a solemn injunction: "Regardless of the motivation, the NIPC reiterates such activity is illegal and punishable as a felony. The US Government does not condone so-called "patriotic hacking" on its behalf."

Furthermore, such patriotic hackers can be deceived into launching attacks against US systems by hacking tools designed by the enemy, the NIPC warns.

So the message to the US script kiddie community is clear: step back son, and leave this cyberwar to the experts.

Meanwhile system admins are encouraged to batten down their security hatches. ®

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NIPC Encourages Heightened Cyber Security as Iraq - US Tensions Increase

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