Anti-war hackers strike the US Navy

Since the US and UK began military action against Iraq, online protesters have attacked a number of Web sites with anti-war slogans

Virus writer and hacker activity has stepped up dramatically since the US and UK armed forces started their war against Iraq.

In the past 48 hours more than 1,000 Web sites have been hacked and defaced, according to Internet security firm F-Secure, and the company suggests most are in the response to the military action in the Gulf.

Among those attacked are a number of US military sites, as well as commercial and political properties. Many were defaced with anti-war messages as the weight of protest mounts.

Perhaps most notably, the US Navy Web site was hacked by an activist called Apocalypse.

The message posted on the site read: "No War, U.S.A think they can tell the world what to do, It is not what you can do for your country, it's what your country can do for you! This defacement is dedicated to my bro."

Virus activity is also expected to soar during the conflict and is also starting to show signs of an increase.

On Wednesday, silicon.com reported the presence of the Ganda virus in the wild, which preys upon people's interest in the war.

Jack Clark, product manager at McAfee, said: "Virus writers will use any occasion that they think will work on computer users, no matter how sick -- be it the attack on the World Trade Centre or the war with Iraq. They are just looking for attention and will use anything that will guarantee media attention."

Clark believes there will be a lot more viruses launched in emails related to the war in Iraq. He said: "Virus writers will play upon people's curiosity for information about the war."


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