Berkeley braces for hacker attack

Tuesday, 5 August 2003, 1:40 PM EST

Computer security experts at the University of California, Berkeley, said late Monday they intend to shut down outside access to part of the university's vast computer network this morning to stop a hacker attack.

Campus Information Systems Security Officer Craig Lant said 50 to 100 computers on the Berkeley campus already have been successfully attacked by hackers exploiting a recently discovered flaw in the Microsoft Windows operating system.

"There may be more. We won't know until we shut down," he said.

Lant estimated that more than half of the 40,000 computers on the Berkeley campus use some form of Windows.

"We're getting close to 1,000 scans a day from outside -- many of them looking for Windows machines to attack," Lant said.

He noted it doesn't appear any data has been destroyed on the hacked computers, but it is early in what amounts to a very serious war between security experts and outlaw hackers.

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