DAILY MAIL, LONDON, 26/2/1998 - Page One
British hackers broke into America's defence systems as the 
two countries geared up to attack Iraq, the Pentagon said 
last night.
The infiltration was so intense that the CIA feared the computer 
spies were agents of Saddam Hussein. Thousands of attempts to 
crack military secrets were made over the last fortnight, 
Pentagon officials said.
Several hundred times hackers broke into unclassified data banks 
containing pau and personnel records for the US Army, Navy and 
Air Force. But the relentless assault - which may have been 
co-ordinated via the Internet - was so sophisticated that it 
could ultimately have threatened Western security.

[Scare tactic. "broke into unclassified data", immediately followed
 by "threatened Western security".]
"During the last two weeks the Defence Department has experienced 
fairly heavy cyber attacks," John Hamre, the American deputry 
secretary of defense said last night.

"It is the most organised and systematic computer attack we 
have ever suffered. It has been a major wake-up call on the 
vulnerability of sensitive information."

[Another wake up call. Almost once a month the DOD gets a new
 'wake up call'.]
The timing could not have been more critical, with US and British 
forces on full alert in the Gulf in the run-up to UN Secretary-General
Kofi Annan's peace mission to Baghdad. An FBI task force concluded 
that the hackers were British and American, anarchists using complex
software. A Pentagon source said: "We believe the attack on our 
computers was launched at a secret convention of hackers, probably 
in New York. They organised a competition and we were the 
prime target."

[How could the FBI conlclude the political agenda of these hackers
 by their hacking technique? Or is the use of the word 'anarchists' more
 hype to get public sympathy?]

"While they did penetrate quite extensively at one level, 
they were unable to reach any classified data."

The FBI refused to divulge any details about the convention, 
but sources say it was attended by fewer than 100 code breakers, 
most of them in their early 20s. While the majority were American, 
there was also a contingent from Britain."
Mr Hamre said the infiltration was apparently perpetrated by a 
"small number of individuals." It has dramatically accelerated 
our plans to get on top of this problem", he added.
The Pentagon has been a target of computer hackers since the 
1983 film War Games showed a boy cracking the defence network 
and nearly starting World War III.
In 1994, 16-year-old Londoner Richard Pryce broke into the 
United States' air force defence and missile systems 
in Washington.
And last year it was claimed that hacker Mathew Bevan, 23, 
of Cardiff almost started a war between North and South Korea.
He said last night: "The Pentagon is the ultimate for hackers."