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Hack Attack

. . . and other threats from the politically offended

By Julie Monahan

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When Madonna's web site was hit by activists angry aboutmusic piracy laws, the singer struck back with a technologicalsalvo. The result was publicity for the singer's latest albumand more fuel for the fiery debate over Internet file-sharing.

Political activism aimed at businesses usually takes the form ofharmless, if inconvenient, lampoons meant to highlight acompany's record on labor rights or the environment. In somecases, sabotage takes a more vicious tone. Whether it's atorched SUV sitting in a parking lot or animals freed from abiotechnology lab, businesses face increasingly emboldenedactivism. While behemoths such as McDonald's or Wal-Mart arethe usual targets, even small businesses can be potentialvictims--and the Web is often the weapon of choice.

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