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Cyber Hijackers Pose Threat to Planes, Vehicles

MSNBC, By John R. Quain

The horrific Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks involved weaponized airliners that were hijacked using brutal, low-tech tactics. But the rapid advances in technology of the last 10 years may mean that tomorrow's threats to planes and automobiles could come not from armed terrorists, but from stealthy hackers.

The connection between terrorist organizations and cybercriminals exists, say experts, not only in online underground marketplaces where hacking tools are sold, but also in areas of recruitment and training.

Some unfriendly countries are working on so-called cyber warfare programs, and there are also "al-Qaida cells that are acting as training centers for hackers," said Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, an information-security training firm based in Bethesda, Md.

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