ISPs Apparently Thwart Attempted Attack

Tipped off by Italian authorities, the FBI’s National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) issued a warning Monday night to U.S. Internet providers to prepare for possible “wide-scale hacker attacks” on Tuesday morning. As of late Tuesday morning, there had been no reports of outages.

“On the afternoon of August 05, 2002, the National Infrastructure Protection Center received credible, but nonspecific information that wide-scale hacker attacks against U.S. websites and Internet service providers (ISP) are being planned for later tonight, possibly emanating from Western Europe,” read the NIPC warning.

NIPC officials told Tuesday morning that the agency “is continuing to monitor the situation” and that there had been no “unusual activities to report.”

Riptech, Inc., an Alexandria, Va.-based managed security firm, also said it was reporting no problems for its clients.

“As of 12:00 EST, Riptech is not seeing a significant increase in overall attack activity, nor is Riptech seeing a significant increase in attack activity specifically from Western Europe. Furthermore, Riptech evaluated attack activity detected by clients of a large ISP and did not detect any significant increase in attacks,” said Amit Yoran, co-founder and CEO of Riptech.

According to unnamed sources cited by the Associated Press, the attacks were planned to begin on East coast sites, including Web sites in Northern Virginia’s technology corridor, at approximately 2 a.m., before shifting to West coast sites. The AP says the warning was prompted by European officials after a nearly 700 percent spike in usual traffic.

The AP sources said the attacks were launched from a relatively few computers.