Tags: Chinese | Hackers | May | Rallying | Forces

Chinese Hackers May Be Rallying Forces

Tuesday, 22 May 2001 12:00 AM

The story, appearing in "The International Reports: Early Warning," said attacks against U.S. computer systems are being planned for May and June.

"According to the "stationmaster" of a computer hackers organization in the People's Republic of China called the Honker Union of China (also known as the Red Hackers), further rounds of attacks on the U.S. Web sites are being prepared for this month and in June," the newsletter stated.

The story, reportedly based partly on information provided by a source in the Hong Kong government, stated that hackers also plan to install "a variety of viruses, worms, automatic bombs [zi dong dan] and cookies in future attacks on U.S. computer systems."

John Rees, the newsletter's editor, told United Press International that a Maldon Institute computer expert monitoring chat rooms and news groups had evidence that some hackers involved in previous attacks against U.S. computers worked for Chinese embassies in some African and European countries.

"Some of them identified themselves as belonging to the PLA," he said. The Maldon Institute, a private organization whose supporters include Richard Mellon Scaife, publishes the newsletter. Scaife is a conservative philanthropist known in part for funding private investigations of former President Clinton.

Though estimates vary, earlier this month hackers believed to be in China hacked into some 1,100 U.S. sites while American hackers allegedly hit 1,600 Chinese sites.

The attacks took place in the context of eroding Sino-U.S. relations but were precipitated by the recent debacle over the U.S. EP-3 spyplane. The bulk of the Chinese attacks were designed to commemorate national holidays such as International Workers Day and Youth Day on May 1 and 4 respectively.

While some hackers reportedly destroyed files, many simply broke into Web sites and left vitriolic and nationalistic slogans. Experts said Chinese hackers are believed to have called off the attacks around May 8 under pressure from the Chinese government.

Rees said he knew the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center or NIPC had received the story about the new attacks, but he had seen no evidence that officials were responding.

As of press time no advisories about a new Chinese threat had been posted on NIPC's Web site. Officials used that site in April to post warnings about the May attacks.

Spokespersons from the U.S. State Department, the Department of Defense and the National Reconnaissance Organization said they had not heard of any planned attacks.

John Freese, a spokesman for Vigilinx, a Parsippany, N.J.-based Internet security firm that monitors hacker activity, told UPI the firm had not heard of the new threat but was investigating the matter.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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The story, appearing in The International Reports: Early Warning, said attacks against U.S. computer systems are being planned for May and June. According to the stationmaster of a computer hackers organization in the People's Republic of China called the Honker...
Tuesday, 22 May 2001 12:00 AM
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