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CAPE TOWN: Cyber Attack at Global Evangelical Congress

CAPE TOWN: Cyber Attack at Global Evangelical Congress

By David W. Virtue in Cape Town
October 20, 2010

Organizers of the global evangelism congress being held here suffered an unprecedented two-day cyber attack when all their servers went down, interrupting service between the US and South Africa, local e-mail and video downloads. Hacking attempts were made on all the global servers, media were told today.

The sophisticated computer network developed for sharing Congress content with the world was totally compromised. "We have tracked malicious attacks by millions of external hits coming from several locations," said Joseph Vijiyam, IT chair of the Lausanne Movement, sponsor of the gathering, adding that a virus was brought into the center on a mobile phone. "There was a worm that brought down a local network."

However, he refused to be drawn into a question suggesting the attacks might have come from mainland China. "Some of the attacks were intentional, some were unintentional. Clearly there were efforts to try to block out those who were trying to bring it down."

Any evidence that attacks from China relating to delegates not coming to Congress was not clear. The IT panel would not specifically point the finger at China.

"We have a good hunch. We were attacked from different parts of the world. Furthermore we believe there were proxies involved which made it appear attacks came from one region or from around the globe...it was a bit of both. With proxies we were not able to pinpoint an exact location."

Asked how much the IT budget of the congress cost, reporters were told it was $1 million (of a $16.5 million budget).

This congress is thought to be the widest gathering of Christians in the history of the Church with 5500 participants and support staff.


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