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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Uncle Sam's PCs hijacked

Families who've had their computers infected by some worm and then hijacked by spammers needn't feel embarrassed. So has the US government. "Hundreds of powerful computers at the Defense Department and US Senate were hijacked by hackers who used them to send spam e-mail," USAToday reports, referring to hackers' practice of turning unprotected PCs into "zombies" and zombie networks for the purposes of spamming (to make money) or mounting denial-of-service attacks (to shut down important Web sites and services). The government's problem was uncovered during the Justice Department's recent crackdown on cybercrime, as reported by many media outlets, including the Washington Post (see also "Anti-P2P momentum" in last week's issue). For more on PC hijacking and what to do about it, see "What if our PC's a zombie?!," "1 very illegal summer job," and "How spammers distributed porn."


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