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FBI warns of Chinese May Day hack attacks

US authorities have warned network administrators that US Web sites and e-mail servers might come under increased attack from Chinese hackers next week.

The National Infrastructure Protection Centre (NIPC), part of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which is responsible for protecting the nation's computer networks against hackers and cyber-terrorists, cited recent tension between the US and China when it issued an advisory notice yesterday.

Chinese hackers have publicly discussed stepping up their activity between 30 April and 7 May, the NIPC said. This period coincides with two Chinese public holidays, May Day on 1 May and Youth Day on 4 May. The anniversary of the bombing of China's embassy in Belgrade is 7 May.

The NIPC encouraged network and system administrators to monitor their sites and e-mail servers closely during the period for defacements and denial of service (DoS) attacks.

In recent weeks hackers have already unlawfully altered Web pages, replacing existing content with pro-Chinese or anti-US rhetoric, the NIPC said. In addition, the Protection Centre has linked the Internet worm named "Lion" to China. Analysis of the worm's source code revealed that it sends passwords from the infected system to a Chinese e-mail address. Lion installs DoS tools on systems, said the NIPC.

According to media reports, US hackers have also attacked Chinese Web sites. Dozens of Chinese sites have, reportedly, been defaced since a US spy plane crash-landed in China.

Visit the NIPC at http://www.nipc.gov .

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