Are we living in the Golden Age of Hacking?

Friday, 25 October 2002, 9:21 PM EST

Over the last eight months major new hacker tools have been released or revealed, ending a lull in activity among hackers that followed the September 11 terrorist attacks and the enactment of legislation that enhanced law enforcement's ability to prosecute people who break code and wreak havoc on networks by exploiting software vulnerabilities, hacking consultant Ed Skoudis said Thursday.

LibRadiate, Paketto Keiretsu, Setiri, and The Defiler's Toolkit are just some of the newest tools that have cropped up since March and that are keeping security specialists awake at night, according to Skoudis, who gave a threat update briefing at a SANS Institute conference. SANS is a security education and research organization in Bethesda, Maryland.

Skoudis, the vice president of ethical hacking and incident response at consultancy Predictive Systems, in New York, said the June-through-September period saw massive exposures of security vulnerabilities in OpenSSH, Internet Explorer, and Apache Web server software.

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