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Cyberattacks Focus on Govern. Sites Including Homeland Security and the Washington Post & Nasdaq

computer-photoThese attacks certainly aren’t catastrophic — at least not yet. But they are scary and are a reminder that we need to do more to protect our computers.

By Brian Krebs and Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — A widespread and coordinated cyberattack during the past few days has targeted Web sites operated by major government agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security and Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Trade Commission, according to several computer security researchers.

The attacks involved thousands of computers around the globe infected with rogue software that told them to repeatedly attempt to access the targeted sites, a tactic aimed at driving up traffic beyond the sites’ normal capacity and denying access to legitimate users, according to the researchers, many of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they are helping with the investigation.

Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said that the agency was aware of ongoing attacks and that the government’s Computer Emergency Response Team had issued guidance to public and private sector Web sites to stem the attacks.

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