Riot organisers prepare to launch cyber war on City By Jonathan
Ungoed-Thomas and Maeve Sheehan, The Sunday Times(UK),

ACTIVISTS who organised the City riot have been trained in hacking
techniques to attack the computer networks of banks and financial
institutions, an investigation has revealed.  Members of Reclaim the
Streets, which coordinated the June 18 action,
have sought advice from America on sabotaging computer sites and have
recruited teams of British-based hackers.  City companies have now
called in consultants to protect their systems.  The threat comes after a
report on the proliferation of political
hacking from the National Criminal Intelligence Service.  The Animal
Liberation Front, anti-nuclear protesters and pro-democracy groups
opposed to the Chinese government have already infiltrated several
sites.  Environmental activists, too, are employing the techniques of the
cyber terrorist.  

[This seems far fetched. More so when you consider the journalist
 here is just listing protest groups and blindly saying "they are using
 hacking now" with no proof to back his statements.]

The Sunday Times has discovered that several companies and
institutions, including the Stock Exchange, Barclays and HSBC, were
targeted by teams of hackers during the anti-capitalist demonstration.  
The attack was coordinated with teams of hackers from Indonesia, Israel,
Germany and Canada.  For five hours at least 20 companies were subjected
to more than 10,000 attacks by hackers.  Other activists used a program
called floodnet to block or crash web sites.  

[Once again, no proof. To be able to accurately claim that
 the attackers came from those specific countries shows a level
 of research far exceeding that of any computer crime law enforcement
 group. 10,000 attacks? What qualifies as an 'attack'? This number is
 vague and intentionally inflated.]

"There were repeated  attempts to penetrate the security that were all
being done remotely," said Dr Neil Barrett, who has advised police on
internet crime and is a technical director at Information Risk
Management, a computer security company.  "There were thousands of attacks
on a number of sites.  The tactics were
crude but they were clearly co-ordinated with the J18 protest." The
companies targeted did not report the attacks to police, but several
have now reviewed security.  They also intend to improve protection for
fibre access points in the street, where mobile hackers could try to
infiltrate internal systems.  Another software consultant who works for a
number of City firms
confirmed the attack.  "In the case of June 18, we saw eco-terrorism
done by computers," said D K Matai, managing director of Mi2g.  "We were

["Eco-terrorism" done by computers? What?!]

monitoring it and a number of companies were under attack from hackers
all over the world." Although the attacks caused no serious damage, 
computer staff in the
City fear that hackers could cause havoc if they used more sophisticated
techniques or gained access to buildings.  They are particularly
concerned because protesters broke into the London International
Financial Futures and Options Exchange (Liffe) building.  "A political
hacker who knew what he was doing inside your building and
inside your computer system would be a disaster," said one expert.

[Masterful case of stating the obvious.]

Detectives investigating the riot say it took more than 12 months to
prepare.  The plan to combine the street protest with an attack by

[Yet the so called "J18" riots barely made the news on 
 relatively small hacker news sites. In fact, when asked I could only
 find a single reference to the entire incident on a single site., Wired, and other larger sites had no mention of it. How
 could such a big event that took 12 months planning be so low key
 in comparison to other minor events that make news?]

hackers is believed to date back to last September, when London members
of Reclaim the Streets attended a seminar in Manchester on information
warfare.  Among those present was Ricardo Dominguez, 40, who describes
himself as a cyber artist and is one of the key activists behind the Electronic
Civil Disobedience movement in America.  "I told them about 'swarming', in
which you have a street protest and at
the same time use hackers to attack certain targets," said Dominguez
last week.  "I met a number of people from Reclaim the Streets.  They
wanted a network of hackers and wanted to know how to get in touch with
these people and how to motivate them." Dominguez also told the activists
about the floodnet device used by the

[Device? Please. Obviously these people have no clue what
 they are talking about. Flooding a computer on a network requires
 software tools. Not "Devices".]

group he founded, the Electronic Disturbance Theatre, to target sites
including the Pentagon in protest at the plight of the Zapatistas in
Mexico; but Dominguez says he does not hack into sites.  In the months
before June 18, hacking groups in Britain and abroad were
e-mailed instructions.  The floodnet device was widely available on the
internet under the J18 banner.  Software consultants said City firms did 

[Widely available? Yet a dozen security professionals and
 a dozen hackers talked to had never seen it?]

not report the attacks because
of their reluctance to highlight computer security issues.  Barclays,
HSBC and the Stock Exchange said last week that none of their systems
was infiltrated and there was no serious threat.  "We are very
security-conscious and this isn't something we want to talk about," said
a Stock Exchange spokesman.  Computer analysts believe experienced hackers
joined the J18 attack to
study the systems of City finance houses.  In an e-mail message to The
Sunday Times, a Hull-based hacker known only as Syncom said the most
likely date for a further attack would be January 1 and financial
institutions would be primary targets.  City police are sceptical that a
protest similar to J18 could be
organised within the next few months.  "We know there is talk about
something happening on the first day of the millennium, but intelligence
sources do not suggest there is anything planned on the scale of the
June protest," said Detective Inspector Kevin Moore.  However, many in the
protest movement believe that direct action on the
streets is preferable to sitting at a computer and trying to attack a
corporation.  Such a view is reflected at this week's Suffolk gathering of
ecological group Earth First.  There are no advertised workshops on
hacking, but lessons are promised on lock-picking, climbing and
self-defence.  Additional reporting: Mark Macaskill and Hilary Scott

[Based on my quick search for information regarding this,
 I have a better theory of what happened. The government and media
 fell for a hoax called 'J18'. They spent SOME time and resources to
 prepare for it. Little to nothing happened, but to save face they had 
 to justify their actions. This is that justification.]