Hackers move on to hijacking

Wednesday, 25 June 2003, 11:04 AM EST

Like a lot of municipal governments, Los Angeles county handles everything from birth records to business permits over the Internet, using a network of computers. Earlier this year, county officials were surprised to discover some of their computers hosting porn sites, sending spam e-mail, and scanning the Internet for other computers from which to launch illicit activity.

“We got a call — an anonymous call — from an individual in the United Kingdom who had called to complain that he was receiving pornographic material as well as spam,” said Jon Fullinwider, chief information officer for Los Angeles County. “And when he checked out where it was coming from, it was coming from addresses owned by the County of Los Angeles.”

The county quickly discovered parts of its computer network had been hijacked by high-tech crooks using a new kind of intrusion technique called “cyberjacking.”

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