ELECTRONIC JIHAD ON THE INTERNET IS QUITE POSSIBLE

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MOSCOW, August 24 (RIA Novosti) - Yevgeny Kaspersky, chief of the Russian major anti-virus company, has warned about a large-scale virus attack on the Internet that might be delivered by the Islamic terrorists on August 26. "The hackers who have proclaimed 'electronic jihad' have enough experience and resources to paralyze the Internet for several hours at least," Mr. Kaspersky said at a press conference in RIA Novosti.

In the expert's opinion, "the main strike will most probably be directed against political and financial sites of the United States, Israel and West-European countries. Most probably, various versions of harmful programs will be introduced into the computer network.

Mr. Kaspersky is convinced that it is practically impossible to protect the Internet because the network's architecture cannot ensure its total security, while the Windows, Unix and other operational systems are far from perfect.

In the opinion of Alexander Gostev, Russian leading anti-virus expert, the United States and Western Europe will suffer most from the attack, while Japan will be less affected by it. In his words, information about the forthcoming attack was published on specialized sites. "It is difficult to say how true this information is," Mr. Gostev said. "We can only assess the possibilities and means at the terrorists' disposal and these arouse our misgivings."

Yevgeny Kaspersky pointed out that there was no real danger for Russian military facilities since "they are situated at a considerable distance from the Internet."

On August 26, the Kaspersky Labs company will be switched over to the "yellow" danger level. However, it does not possess any information as to what can be really expected on that day. "It is ghastly enough that these people have mentioned 'electronic jihad' for the first time," Mr. Kaspersky said in conclusion.

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