Hackers Plan Attacks To Protest Iraq War
Chinese Group Targets U.S., U.K. Sites
By Brian Krebs
Tuesday, April 1, 2003; Page A24
Chinese hacker groups are planning attacks on U.S.- and U.K.-based Web sites to protest the war in Iraq, the Department of Homeland Security warned in an alert that it unintentionally posted on a government Web site yesterday.
The hackers are planning "distributed denial-of-service" attacks, which render Web sites and networks unusable by flooding them with massive amounts of traffic. They also are planning to deface selected Web sites, according to the alert, though the government said it did not know when the attacks would occur.
The Homeland Security Department said it got the information by monitoring an online meeting that the hackers held last weekend to coordinate the attacks. The department sent the alert to government and industry officials over the weekend but accidentally posted the link on the home page of the National Infrastructure Protection Center. The alert was pulled hours later.
Homeland Security Department spokesman David Wray said the information was not supposed to be released to the public. "This was an inadvertent release and the information, while not classified, is sensitive," he said.
The messages cited in the alert were posted on several hacker Web sites thought to be affiliated with the "Honker Union of China," a cadre of Chinese hackers that launched an assault against dozens of U.S. government Web sites in May 2001 after the collision of a Chinese fighter jet and a U.S. surveillance plane on April 1, 2001. "Honker" is Chinese slang for "hacker."
The group claimed responsibility then for defacements on the Web sites of the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Navy, the Labor Department, and other government agencies and businesses.
The Homeland Security Department's warning comes amid a flurry of antiwar hacking activity. About 10,000 Web sites have been marred with digital graffiti by protesters and supporters of U.S.-led war in Iraq, according to F-Secure Corp., a Finnish Internet security firm.