Writing in the Herald on Sunday, Juha Saarinen explores the shady world of cyber-attacks and international computer crimes.
An excerpt (read in full here):
Rattling of the cyber sabres
When Dani Wright set up a website to collect nursery rhymes from around the world, little did the Auckland writer and mum know that the site would be caught up in a shadowy battle between anonymous cyber guerrillas. Late last year, itsasmallworld.co.nz was broken into and defaced by Malaysian hackers called L.a Crews, who posted anti-Israeli and pro-Palestine messages on it twice.
“I didn’t quite know what to do,” Wright says. “Who do you call when these things happen? There is no police or fire service who can help.”
Wright says her site is not commercial, but a resource for librarians and others interested in nursery rhymes. Sorting out the mess from the hack attacks was costly.
“It cost $400 each time, which is a fair bit of money for me,” she says. “The $800 I spent on getting the site right would have been enough for a short break with the kids.
“You definitely feel more vulnerable and much less secure,” she says. “I assume that the whole world can read what’s on my computer and am careful about what goes on there.”
Wright was not targeted for any reason apart from the fact that her site hosting company was vulnerable. At first she thought the attackers were Pakistani, as the defacement mentioned “the Pakistani Cyber Army”.