New Hacking Tools Released to Attack Web Sites

The new tools could misuse Microsoft's Windows NT, 95, 98 and 2000-based systems to launch a massive amount of data that would overwhelm a Web site, David Perry, a spokesman for antivirus software vendor Trend Micro, said in a phone interview yesterday.

Two weeks ago, in one of the most publicized computer attacks ever, several networks were closed down due to continuous streams of data being launched from computers running on Sun Microsystems's Solaris operating systems, Perry said. The use of the Solaris Unix OS required some expertise to initiate, while knowledge of the Windows operating systems family is widespread, he explained.

"The only difference from the tools used (two weeks ago) and those released this week is that someone now has taken an agent and made it work on Windows," Perry said. "But the Windows-based machines are an order of magnitude easier to use than the others (based on Solaris)."

No attacks from Windows-based machines have been reported since the new tools were posted on an Internet bulletin board Saturday night, Perry said.

In the so-called "denial of service" attacks two weeks ago, bits of data were distributed to a multitude of computers around the world. These data "sleepers" were then simultaneously sent to networks, overwhelming them.

The hackers who posted the latest tools Saturday are seemingly not connected to those who engineered the recent attack, Perry said. "There's an army of teenagers out there in the hacker world," he said. "It's the computer equivalent of graffiti."

The FBI is continuing its investigation into the recent attacks, which are believed to originate from networks that include the University of California at Santa Barbara and Stanford University. Market research company The Yankee Group Inc. estimated the attacks have cost the IT industry upwards of US$1.2 billion. [See "Analyst Puts Hacker Damage at US$1.2B and Rising," Feb. 10.]Microsoft monitored the attacks and has updated its security apparatus, Adam Sohn, a Microsoft spokesman, said today in a phone interview.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jack McCarthy

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?