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9/25/2002
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Cyberattacks Reach All-Time High

Attacks on Web sites have reached record levels this month, according to digital risk-management company mi2g.

Cyberattacks have reached an all-time high this month, digital risk-management company mi2g Ltd. says. The company, which has tracked attacks since 1995, says it has spotted 9,011 overt digital attacks so far this month, a sharp increase from the 5,830 attacks spotted in August and 4,904 in July.

According to the report, Internet domains registered within the United States are under the most fire, with 4,157 successful attacks. That's considerably higher than the 835 attacks against Brazilian domains, 376 against Germany, and 285 against India.

The report says that "rising antagonism across the digital world against the U.S." may be partly to blame for the recent surge. According to mi2g, U.S. government computers for the House of Representatives, Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, National Park Service, and Goddard & Marshall Space Flight Centers were attacked this month.

Many experts say that as tensions in the Middle East escalate and if the United States attacks Iraq, American interests online will become targets of politically motivated attacks. Palestinian and Israeli hackers have been battling it out online since early 2000, after peace talks collapsed. Shortly after the terrorist attacks last year, some U.S. hacking groups said they would attack Internet domains within Afghanistan and Pakistan, although the number of cyberattacks dropped precipitously after Sept 11, 2001. According to mi2g's report, attacks in September 2001 plummeted to 816 from 2,820 in August 2001. Also in 2001, Chinese hackers threatened to attack and did attack certain U.S. Internet interests following the death of Chinese pilot Wang Wei when his fighter jet collided with a U.S. spy plane.

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