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Saturday, 13 July, 2002, 01:55 GMT 02:55 UK
Alert as hackers meet
Computer keyboard, Eyewire
Beware giving away sensitive information
As computer hackers attend a convention in New York, major organisations fear that attempts might be made to disrupt their computers in a show of hacking strength.

The telephone phone company AT&T has written to all its employees warning them to be on their guard.

Picture of USA Today's homepage
Spoof stories were put on the paper's site
In the latest high-profile hacking in the US, a newspaper had its website altered to include fake news items.

AT&T believes this year it may be targeted to demonstrate how company employees can be tricked into revealing sensitive information that can help hackers gain access to computer systems.

"Remember, you do not want to be the lucky guest of honour on a telephone call from the hacker conference this weekend with thousands of hackers listening to you and attempting to scam AT&T out of proprietary information," the company warned in an e-mail to staff.

"Please be on guard."

Pranks

AT&T's warning comes as a criminal investigation has started into the successful penetration of the computers at the newspaper USA Today.

Its website, which has nine million viewers a month, was redesigned to include a number of spoof news stories, including an Iraqi missile attack on Israel and the Vatican proclaiming that the Bible was a hoax.

But readers could easily determine that the stories were not legitimate because they were poorly written, USA Today spokesman Steven Anderson said.

"It was very prankish, very immature," he said.

See also:

09 May 02 | Science/Nature
31 Jul 01 | Science/Nature
26 Jun 02 | Science/Nature
21 Jun 02 | Science/Nature
16 Apr 02 | Science/Nature
13 Mar 02 | Science/Nature
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