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CNN Today

Internet Attacks: FBI Targeting Large Computer Systems on West Coast

Aired February 11, 2000 - 2:10 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Now, developments in this week's Internet attacks. Just days after cyber-criminals jammed up major Web sites, like CNN.com and others, there is a major new development in the investigation.

CNN has learned, the FBI is targeting large computer systems on the West Coast, including one at a California university that may have been an unwitting accomplice.

Sources tell CNN that computers at the University of California Santa Barbara may have launched the attack on our CNN Interactive Web site. Agents are, we're told, zeroing in on other, undisclosed locations in California and Oregon. Search warrants are being executed, in hopes of seizing suspected computers used in the attacks.

Joining us to discuss all of this CNN justice correspondent Pierre Thomas.

Pierre, what led investigators to the computers out at U.C. Santa Barbara.

PIERRE THOMAS, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, computer experts at that particular university noticed that their computer system had been infected, and perhaps used to send these millions of messages to the CNN.com Web site. So these computer experts are working very, very closely with the FBI, so it is a very coordinated investigation at this particular point.

WATERS: What about arrests?

THOMAS: Well, sources are telling me, don't expect any arrests in the next few days. What they hope to do is get some of these computers, begin to analyze them to see what is going on, it is the equivalent of an electronic connecting of the dots. One source put it in these terms: Just because you can trace a phone call, you don't necessarily know who used the telephone. So they have to be very careful about saying that particular people did specific acts.

WATERS: And we will follow along, of course. Pierre Thomas, our justice correspondent from Washington.

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