NIPC warns of cyberattacks, but impact is slight

By Sam Costello, IDG News Service |  Security

Despite a warning Monday from the U.S. government of impending cyberattacks, little impact has been seen at the Web sites and companies expected to be targeted.

In the warning, the U.S. National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), the cybersecurity arm of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), cautioned that "wide-scale hacker attacks against U.S. Web sites and Internet Service Providers (ISP) are being planned for later tonight (Monday August 5), possibly emanating from Western Europe."

The agency cited "credible, but non-specific" information as the source of its warning and cautioned Web site and ISP administrators to be more aware of network traffic on August 5 and 6.

The warning seems to have been for naught, though, as companies that monitor Web traffic report that ISPs are currently unaffected.

Matrix.Net Inc. offers tools on its Web site that allow users to check the reachability and packet loss, among other measurements, of ISPs. For U.S.-based ISPs, no ISP tracked by Matrix.Net is losing more than 2 percent of its packets for the week, with only two other companies seeing more than 1 percent of packet loss.

Also, all ISPs tracked by Matrix.Net have been reachable at least 97 percent of the time for the last week.

Overall, global ISP reachability has not dropped below 99 percent on August 5 or 6, according to Matrix.Net's data.

Riptech Inc., a company that compiles the firewall and intrusion detection logs of over 1,000 companies worldwide to arrive at a picture of the global threat status on the Web, also hasn't seen any unusual attack traffic, according to its Founder and Executive Vice President Elad Yoran.

As of noon EDT, "we've not seen an (attack) activity," he said.

Riptech counts some ISPs, the targets of the attack according to the NIPC warning, among its customers, he noted.

Given Riptech's information-gathering reach, it would detect an attack if one was going on, he said.

"One notion is that this may be a non-event," he said.

That may not be the case, though, he added.

"There very well may be (an attack in progress), but we're just not seeing it," he said.

The NIPC did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

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