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US: Attack on Government Computers

US Commerce bureau's computers are besieged by strikes supposedly originating from Chinese hosts. This has strengthened Trend Micro's charges on US authorities for not employing suitable security measures to safeguard their department machines.

The cyber-terrorists have attacked the computing system of the classified Commerce Department bureau, compelling it to defer countless workstations and block workers from using the net regularly for over a month, Commerce spokesperson stated on October 5, 2006.
The strike aimed the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) computers, which is in charge of operating U.S. exports of goods , software and technology, collectively featuring commercial and military applications. The bureau has increased its activity in regulating business with China since the United States multiplied its export of its multipurpose goods to the developing Chinese industry.

The implication of the strike was emphasized in e-mails transmitted to BIS workers by Mark Foulon, the interim Undersecretary of Commerce notifying them of dangerous menaces to the soundness of the computing data and system.

"With the help of traditional security measures, BIS detected an effort to access BIS end user accounts," averred Richard Mills, the Commerce Department representative. "We don't have any proof that BIS records has been misplaced or exposed."

According to Information Week, Trend Micro is now investigating the number of computers along with those in the U.S. defense offices, affected with malicious software capable of exploiting personal information, or conduct denial-of-service strikes.

But government IT officials dispute those inferences, and Trend Micro is also retracting from some.
Numerous government PCs have been exploited by hackers. A malevolent program named software bots, which transforms computers into distantly operated 'zombies' have infiltrated the servers of national and state agencies.

Trend Micro, has been trying to discover these bots. It has decided to divulge its outcome this week - supposedly in public interest. However, a few of these inferences were challenged, due to the complication of tracking such zombie PCs.

"Directed cyber crimes against U.S. government computers in the last few years have been very effective, indicating the failure of national cyber security measures," alleges Alan Paller, SANS director of research. "Hostile countries and revolutionaries, conscious of the weaknesses, will increase these strikes."

Related article: US Passes Baton to Asia in Spam Relay

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