Cyberwar

Thursday, 4 July 2002, 2:43 AM EST

From Beijing to Bethlehem, politically inspired hackers — known as "hacktivists" — are wreaking ever greater destruction using a few simple keystrokes. In the Middle East, Palestinians have been spreading anti-Israel messages with the "Injustice" worm, and in Sri Lanka, the "Mawanella" virus has been bringing down enemy e-mail servers. But today the main cyber-battle is being waged between the world’s pro- and anti-Islamic hacker groups. As they launch ever more destructive viruses and denial-of-service attacks, they are causing their enemies real problems - as the unobtainable Pakistan government website (at www.pak.gov.pk) has shown this week.

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