Terror on the Internet

A pair of electronic mail bombings underscores the fragility of the world's largest computer network

Thanksgiving weekend was quiet in the Long Island, New York, home of Michelle Slatalla and Josh Quittner. Too quiet. The phone didn't ring all weekend -- which is unusual for a pair of working journalists. Nor did they hear the familiar beep of electronic mail arriving from the Internet, although Quittner tried several times to log on. It wasn't until their tenant complained about a strange message on their answering machine that the couple investigated and discovered all was not well in their electronic cocoon.

"We'd been hacked," says Quittner, who writes about computers -- and hackers -- for the newspaper...

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