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Where Is All The Cyberterrorism? 11 September 2002 Edition
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It's a year since a bunch of crazed lunatics on a mission from (their) God smashed three passenger-laden aircraft into various pieces of US architecture, killing thousands in the process.

I'm sure I've seen the footage of those planes slamming into the WTC over 500 times now -- but it's still a chilling sight and rather sobering to realise just how easily even the most sophisticated technology can be abused by those with an evil intent.

But what ever happened to all those predictions that the USA was about to be enveloped in a wave of cyberattacks?

Given that in recent times, just about every major website operated by the US Government (or arm thereof) has been hacked by spotty-faced youths armed to the teeth with scripts that exploit well-known vulnerabilities, I must wonder how dumb the terrorists really are.

A lack of successful hits on the US cyber-infrastructure can hardly be due to Microsoft's "Trustworthy Computing" initiative so we can only assume that it was all hype on the part of some over-excited officials.

If we look back, it seems that the activities of a laid-back student in the Philippines did more harm to the Net than anything Osama bin Laden could come up with.

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  • Have Your Say

    That CNN article is interesting insomuch as it makes reference to Saddam Hussein who, as we all know, is still fixed firmly in George Bush's sights.

    Could George be wanting to rush in and (again) bomb the snot out of Saddam, not because he fears that nukes are on the menu, but because he's worried about cyber-attacks coming out of Iraq?

    Well it would seem that he still has nothing much to worry about.

    Iraq does have a top level domain allocated to it but a search on Google turns up no websites at all under that TLD.

    Indeed, Iraq is the only country in West Asia, and one of the few in the entire world, that has no Internet connectivity.

    This is due in part due to international sanctions but also, I suspect, because Saddam probably isn't the kind of guy that wants his people to have free access to Western teachings, philosophies, religion and such.

    Of course there's nothing to stop Iraq's top cyber-terrorists from slipping into some other country to launch their attacks -- but as far as we know, this hasn't happened either.

    It seems that the worst Osama or Saddam could do in the way of cyberterrorism is to start another online MLM operation or get into the spamming business.

    Speaking of which, make sure you check out TNZ's response to yesterday's Aardvark column.

    The Xbox Arrives
    As if I don't have enough to do as it is -- my busy schedule was yesterday interrupted by a courier carrying a silver metal case.

    Inside was a Microsoft Xbox, complete with an armful of games (gloat, gloat).

    I've only had a couple of minutes to play with this thing so far (honest!) but I have to say that first impressions are very positive.

    Once I've had a chance to clear my plate of other commitments I'll sit down and give it the attention it deserves -- followed by a no-nonsense Aardvark review.

    Gosh, a columnist's life can be hard at times ;-)

    Have your say.

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    Security Alerts
    File-name flaw threatens PGP users (ZDNet - 06/09/2002)

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