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Hackers: a new terrorism.


A new worm cleverly disguised as an antiviral tool has emerged earlier this week. But don’t worry the AII3agro worm is neither threatening nor is it spreading quickly. The issue here is that hackers are continually creating new innovative viruses and programmes designed to disrupt and cause mayhem.

Convicted hacker, Lee Alan Ashurst, states “…the prime motive of a hacker is to prove that any network or database can be hacked”. Thereby the hackers gain recognition and respect in the ‘hackers society’. Lee goes on to mention that “focus should be shifted away from hackers and turned on the administrators who do not clear their systems, who do not install firewalls and who miss-configure firewalls, they should be crucified. Many a time getting into a system isn’t hard”.

Hotmail, the worlds most popular free web-based e-mail service was under the spot light yesterday as a major fault was discovered. It emerged that users were able to access different accounts and read other peoples emails. The process is simple and details of how to hack into emails have been posted on a website by a group called Root Core. Again this does not pose a huge threat to hotmail users as the process involves a lot of guess work and Hotmail have now rectified the problem. However this is one more to add to the endless list of Internet security faults.

It must be argued that hotmail is more likely to be targeted by hackers due to its popularity. It does not necessarily mean that this email service is less secure than others. Microsoft is continually criticised for security flaws but hackers will naturally attack the giants that will attract the most media coverage for them.

The managing director of Bighat Media and Event Services International reports that in the Middle East 67% of companies and 87% of banks do not have secure systems. This is a very alarming statistic as more banks are now offering online services. They need to take the issue of security more seriously.

At the moment hackers are here to stay. The past year has seen a significant increase in virus outbreaks and the emergence of malicious programmes such as Code Red. We have seen the evolution of viruses to the more potent worms, which unlike viruses requires no user intervention to activate it. Security continues to be of vital importance to all e-business. The good news is that anti-virus companies are now joining forces to develop software that can stop viruses and worms before they get started. They expect to launch the first programme within six months.


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