Homeland Security warns about systems threats as war looms

The Homeland Security Department today reminded Internet users to be vigilant for cyberattacks in light of President Bush's ultimatum last night that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein leave his country or face military invasion.

The department and other federal agencies are monitoring 'the Internet for signs of a potential terrorist attack, cyberterrorism, hacking and state-sponsored information warfare,' a Homeland Security statement said. 'Industry and public Internet users are reminded of the importance of employing sound security practices and reporting unusual activity or intrusion attempts to DHS or local law enforcement.'

Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge this morning briefed the press on a range of security measures the government has implemented under Operation Liberty Shield.

Besides steps mandated because the department has again raised the threat level to orange or high risk, Ridge has asked governors to deploy National Guard troops to protect key locations, mandated increased security at ports and airports, and called for strengthened preparedness in case of a nuclear or biological attack.

Ridge and other administration officials said that although the al Qaeda terrorist organization is in disarray, it likely will attempt terrorist strikes planned earlier and might be assisted by Iraqi or other forces.


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