Hacked off

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Out there in cyberspace, internet hackers have been having a busy time. Try logging on to www.hizballa.org, for example, and you will find yourself confronted with a barrage of Stars of David, superimposed over the original Arabic words, and a number of links in Hebrew to Zionist propaganda writings. But the Middle East cyberwar is travelling the other way too; hackers, said to be from Saudi Arabia, have broken into the website of the Knesset (Israel's parliament) and modified files they found there.

Out there in cyberspace, internet hackers have been having a busy time. Try logging on to www.hizballa.org, for example, and you will find yourself confronted with a barrage of Stars of David, superimposed over the original Arabic words, and a number of links in Hebrew to Zionist propaganda writings. But the Middle East cyberwar is travelling the other way too; hackers, said to be from Saudi Arabia, have broken into the website of the Knesset (Israel's parliament) and modified files they found there.

Now Microsoft has revealed that its computers, too, have been invaded - by a "worm virus" which has stolen the passwords to its most valuable source codes and shipped them to an e-mail address in St Petersburg. The passwords have already been employed to pilfer copies of the latest versions of Windows and MS Office, which can now be used for industrial sabotage and unfair competition.

Hacking has become the new safe-cracking. And with the latest Ladybird book teaching our children how to access the internet, we are seriously thinking of returning to pen and invisible ink.

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