Security Breaches

Nuke ’em

Californian Richard Clark, when he heard news reports that
NATO’s Web site had been attacked by Belgrade hackers, wanted to do his part
to help the allies. Using software available on the Internet, he sent an
"e-mail bomb"–sending mail non-stop to the same address until it
flooded its server–to, the Yugoslav government’s main Web site.
On April 3, a few days and 500,000 e-mails into the siege, the site went down.

Denial of service attacks

Hackers attacked some of the biggest sites on the Internet,
temporarily shutting down online retailers Yahoo!,,,,
E*Trade and ZDNet. Yahoo!’s officials described this as a coordinated attack
from more than 50 Internet addresses. The success of the attacks highlights the
vulnerability of companies that rely on the Internet. Even the most
sophisticated security controls can’t easily detect and deter an attack that
relies on the simple action of requesting a Web page–albeit repeated thousands
of times a second.

Bill Gates’ credit card

A Welsh teenager obtained the credit card details of Bill
Gates, the world’s richest man. Raphael Gray, 18, was arrested for fraud after
a joint operation between the Federal Bureau of investigation and Welsh Police.
But Gray, the self-styled "Saint of E-commerce", said: "I just
wanted to prove how insecure these sites are. I have done the honest thing, but
I have been ignored." Gray and his accomplice e-mailed credit card details,
including those of Gates, to NBCi, a subsidiary of the NBC broadcasting group.

Site defacement

Pakistani hackers defaced Indian opening pages of 60 Indian
Web sites in a month, changing them to one with anti-India propaganda on the
Kashmir issue. A favorite target was the servers of the National Informatics
Center which hosts many governmental Web sites.

The Hotmail crack

Hackers on Monday gave free access to some 40 million Hotmail
electronic mail accounts via an Internet site, The Times reported on Tuesday.
Microsoft, which operates Hotmail, one of the most popular free e-mail services,
was forced to temporarily shut down the service after the website gave access to
any Hotmail account without the use of a password. The site also allowed bogus
messages to be sent in another person’s name. The report said that the
original rogue site, based in Sweden, was shut down by its host, but not before
it had been copied to sites in Britain and the United States, spreading the

The BARC case

Saying that "the world is lucky we’re so nice," members of the
hacker group Milw0rm, broke into the local area network (LAN) of India’s
Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC), proved the fallacy of firewalls and
network security systems in the worst possible way by retrieving information on
India’s nuclear weapons program. "We have information on their weapons,
their test projectories (sic), everything, and we are doing this from all over
the world," said hacker, JF. The group was able to access e-mail between
the BARC scientists, as well as a list of planned nuclear projects and other
files related to India’s nuclear research program. 

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