Army Dumps Windows NT for More Secure Macintosh

by Sgt. 1st Class Connie E. Dickey

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Sept. 1, 1999) - Working from information
provided by the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Command, FBI agents arrested a 19-year-old Wisconsin man Aug. 30 for malicious altering of a U.S. Army Web page.

The agents identified the Green Bay man as the co-founder of a hacker organization known as "Global Hell."

The arrest capped a two-month investigation led by Army CID agents, after an unidentified intruder gained illegal access to the Army Home Page June 28 and modified its contents. The intruder also gained access to an unclassified Army network and removed and modified computer files to prevent detection.

Since the case is still ongoing, Christopher Unger, web site administrator for the Army Home Page, didn't want to talk about specifics of what the hacker did to the web page or what the Army is doing to protect its sites from future hackers. However, he said the Army has moved its web sites to a more secure platform. The Army had been using Windows NT and is currently using Mac OS servers running WebSTAR web server software for its home page web site.

Unger said the reason for choosing this particular server and software is that according to the World Wide Web Consortium, it is more secure than its counterparts. According to the Consortium's published reports on its findings, Macintosh does not have a command shell, and because it does not allow remote logins, it is more secure than other platforms. The report also said the Consortium has found no specific security problems in either the software or the server.

The Consortium is a worldwide group of representatives from more than 350 organizations that provide the infrastructure for a global interoperable World Wide Web. Membership is open to any organization.

"Government networks are inviting to hackers because of their high profile,"
Unger said. However, the Department of Defense is laying the groundwork now for more secure Internet sites that will prevent unauthorized access to information,
he said.

(Editor's note: Some information was provided by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.) http://www.dtic.mil/armylink/news/Sep1999/a19990901hacker.html