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Friday, October 23, 1998 Published at 17:52 GMT 18:52 UK


Sci/Tech

Net warfare over Kosovo

Kosova.com was hacked again on Friday

By Internet Correspondent Chris Nuttall

A group of Serbian hackers has attacked a Kosovo Albanian Website and has also threatened to sabotage Nato's official site.

The group known as the Black Hand said it would target government sites as well after President Slobodan Milosevic took action to curb the country's independent media.

Propaganda wars are raging across the Internet and hackers are increasingly using their skills to post their own views on sites across the World Wide Web or to sabotage the Websites of those whose causes they oppose.

Black Hand to 'remove Albanian lies'

An anonymous caller to the Belgrade newspaper Blic has said his Black Hand group is responsible for a hacker attack on the kosova.com site which has been made inaccessible several times in the past few days.

A page was posted by the hackers in its place, saying Long Live Great Serbia and that Black Hand had taken over the site.

The caller said Black Hand would continue to remove " Albanian lies" from the Internet. He threatened to close down Nato's Website as well and target those of the government after the Serbian parliament passed legislation aimed at curbing the country's independent media this week.

Political hacking on the increase

Black Hand is also thought to be responsible for taking over the Website of a Kosovo Albanian newspaper earlier this month. Zik.com appealed to the authorities in Switzerland, where the paper is based, to prosecute. But the hackers are said to be from Serbia and the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia.

Black Hand was the name of a group of Serbian officers who plotted a coup at the turn of the century. The modern-day hackers can take over Websites by breaking into networks and stealing passwords. They can do so anonymously and from anywhere in the world, making it almost impossible to track them down.

In recent weeks, the Indian Army in Kashmir's Website has been taken over by Pakistani hackers and hundreds of sites were disabled by hackers protesting against nuclear testing in India and Pakistan.



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