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ADVISORY 99-020

"A Threat to U.S. Military and Government Web Servers"
August 30, 1999

The National Infrastructure Protection Center has received information of a threat to U.S. military and government web servers. These types of systems have seen a number of hacks over the past six months. Some of these cases are nearing completion of their investigations; recent and upcoming arrests in and public announcement of these cases may generate retaliation or additional "protest" hacking.

Interfering with government and private organization web sites is a federal violation of Title 18 Section 1030 of the U.S. Code. Hacking these sites may seem a harmless or justified activity, but it is against the law. As we look forward to the increasing importance and economic value of web sites, attempts to disrupt sites by hacking or other malicious activity regardless of the claimed reason will be investigated and prosecuted. As with past episodes of telephone access theft and, more recently, computer virus dissemination, web page hacking is a serious matter, is often associated with other criminal activity, and will be aggressively pursued by law enforcement authorities.

The public is requested to immediately report suspicious and/or relevant activity to your local FBI office, the NIPC, or organizational computer emergency response capability as appropriate. The NIPC Watch and Warning Unit can be reached at nipc.watch@fbi.gov.