Thursday, April 1, 1999 Published at 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Kosovo info warfare spreads
Nato's site has been engulfed in an infowar
By Internet Correspondent Chris Nuttall
The war in Yugoslavia has spread to the Net with Nato suffering attacks on its computer systems from Serbia, and the UK escalating its propaganda campaign on Thursday through government Websites.
As well as stifling Nato's propaganda efforts, Net users opposed to the bombing have also been infiltrating and clogging the defence alliance's computer system.
"It has also been saturated by one individual who is currently sending us 2,000 e-mails a day and we are dealing with macro viruses from Yugoslavia into our e-mail system," said Shea.
Macro viruses reside in Microsoft programs such as Word and Excel and are carried in documents attached to e-mails.
White House attack suspected
In the United States, the Secret Service has been investigating whether a crash experienced by the White House Website at the weekend was the work of Serbian or Russian hackers.
The Russian media has been reporting that the Nato and White House Websites are being targeted by hackers.
It is unclear whether the attacks are state-sponsored or the work of individual groups of hackers. Last October, a group known as Black Hand based in Serbia attacked a Kosovo Albanian Website and threatened to sabotage NATO's site.
A group known as the Beograd hackers have been taking over sites in the past few days and replacing home pages with a "Yugoslav citizens' message to Nato World Criminals". The page features the logo "We are all targets! Stop Nato attack on Yugoslavia."
UK steps up Net propaganda war
Meanwhile, the British Defence Secretary, George Robertson, has announced that the Ministry of Defence Website is offering news on the conflict in Serbian to counter what he said were lies and propaganda from Belgrade.
The MoD site had received 1,400 hits from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 24 hours, he said.
The Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, announced on Thursday that the government was "stepping up the propaganda war."
"Later today, I will be sending a message to the Serbian people via the Foreign Office website explaining what the truth is behind President Milosevic_s atrocities in Kosovo and why we had to act to halt it.
"I have also given an interview to the Serbian independent radio station, B92, which will be broadcast today. That radio station has of course been shut down by President Milosevic."
B92 is continuing to broadcast over the Internet in Serbian and English.
"I bitterly regret having to enter into conflict with your country. It started because President Milosevic chose to ignore our warnings and conduct the most awful cruelty in Kosovo." the Foreign Secretary said in his Internet message.
" It can end when he calls a halt to that cruelty, and lets the people of Kosovo, and the people of Yugoslavia, have the peaceful and prosperous future they deserve."