Security experts are warning that the millennium may spark a frenzy of hacking. Stephen Cobb, author of the US National Centre for Supercomputing Applications? guide to PC and Lan security, said: ?I fully expect some people to take advantage of the potential disruption, either for profit or fun. In addition, the changeover happens in a holiday period and there is always a spike in hacking activities from students during vacations.?
Cobb said a basic attack would be an attempt to roll over the system clock to 2000 before the millennium, so any non-compliant systems ?would break?. Companies should increase education and awareness, said Cobb. Neil Barrett, principal computer security consultant at Bull Information Systems, said: ?There is a lot of talk among hackers on the Internet bulletin boards, pointing to a hack-fest.?
Barrett said an extra threat is ?millennium nutcases?, who believe the date has life-changing significance. ?There will be chain letters and mail bombs,? he added. A report from research organisation The Meta Group, called ?Anti-Virus: Time to Review?, warns organisations against neglecting anti-virus requirements. It urges users to guard against those who see the year 2000 as ?a milestone to create additional havoc?.
Bob Hammersley, year 2000 project director at Sainsbury?s, said: ?The Melissa virus is an example of how powerful such attacks can be. We are talking to security experts about extra steps.?
Cobb added: ?A virus scanner only works on known viruses, so it is important for employees to be aware they should only open files from someone they know.?
For more stories see 22 April Computing.
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