Pro-Islamic hacker group Unix Security Guards increased its activity tenfold in September to highlight the Palestinian cause and show solidarity with the Arab world as tensions rise in regard to the US conflict with Iraq, according to computer security firm mi2g.
USG made 207 attacks on corporate and government computer systems worldwide in September, compared with 21 in August, mi2g said in a press release issued Tuesday.
Overall hacker attacks rose in the month, as well, the company said.
The number of attacks for September was 11,080, bringing the total for the first nine months of 2002 to 42,185, a third greater than all of 2001.
"We have seen the close of the worst quarter in terms of overt digital attacks and the financial market indices in over a decade," said mi2g chairman DK Matai. "The turmoil in both cases is in part being influenced by the rising threat of armed conflict in the Middle East. There is no indication that the turbulence and volatility has come to an end yet."
USG consists of five member sub-groups: rD, Inkubus, Egyptian|Fighter, hein and ShellCode. They are located in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, mi2g said.
USG told mi2g in an e-mail statement that its aim is "to show the world how our brothers are suffering in Iraq, Palestine, etc and how Israel turned into some cold blooded killing machine[s]."
Recent messages left by USG on computer systems focus on criticism of US and UK involvement in Iraq, condemnation of Israeli activities in the West Bank and Gaza, and Indian involvement in Kashmir.
According to the security firm, the hackers tampered with data on online systems, and created denial of service attacks, which slow or shut down computer systems.
USG also claimed to penetrate Arab and Islamic sites with the goal of telling site administrators how to make them less vulnerable.
Out of the 110 victim countries in September, the most attacked were the US (5,299), Brazil (905), Denmark (532), the UK (478) and Germany (406). The company did not provide data on attacks on Israeli computers.