Washington, D.C. - Tom Ridge, Director of the Office of Homeland
the National Terror Alert Level from "We Don't Know" to "Pretty High" on suspicions
that Iraq may launch a cyber-attack against US computer installations.
"We have solid evidence that Saddam has been stockpiling sophisticated
electronic equipment such as 300 baud modems and handheld touch-tone
generators," said Ridge. "We don't know when or where he might launch
his attack, but we have evidence to suggest that it could be imminent."
Ridge cited a recent survey which showed that twenty percent of computers
were acting "flakey" and that sixty percent had experienced an outright
crash in the past seven days. "That's pretty conclusive evidence
that the Iraqis have already infiltrated our computer systems," said
Intelligence sources indicate that in early spring Saddam organized
a L33t Republican Guard that was trained to conduct cyber-attacks
on US targets. "These Iraqis are very skilled in advanced hacking
practices such as war dialing and phreaking," said a CIA official. "They
could render two, maybe three, ISDN lines completely useless. Do
you have any idea what that could do to our technological infrastructure?"
Computers most endangered by the attack are older style BBS systems
which still communicate via low speed modems. Timothy Kagen sysop
of Jabba's Hut, a BBS in surburban New Jersey, has been on high alert
for days, "I have two phone lines going from 8 pm to 8am. With the
sheer volume of modems these Iraqis have, they could tie up all the
BBSes on the entire eastern seaboard, and if my friends can't play
Tradewars they get a bit pissy. It would be a disaster."
President Bush also voiced his concerns during an afternoon press
conference in the Rose Garden, "Say it with me, Saddam, modem. Eerie
how they sound so similar, isn't it?"
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