News Item: LulzSec Hacker Group Claims Attack On US Senate Website
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Wednesday 15 June 2011 - 11:58:52
SAN FRANCISCO (Dow Jones)--A hacker group that has claimed attacks on media and law enforcement affiliates extended its month-long cyber rampage on Monday, boasting it had cracked the U.S. Senate's website.
On Monday, the group, known as Lulz Security, posted a configuration file for the Senate's main website on its homepage. The material in the file suggests sensitive information was not breached, but does indicate Lulz Security infiltrated the Senate's website.
"This is a small, just-for-kicks release of some internal data from Senate.gov," Lulz Security said in its release. "Is this an act of war, gentlemen?"
The group appeared to be referencing a recent Wall Street Journal report that the Pentagon considered some forms of computer sabotage warfare.
A Senate representative confirmed the hack but said only material outside of the firewall was accessed.
"The intruder did not gain access into the Senate computer network," a spokeswoman said in an email. "Although this intrusion is inconvenient, it does not compromise the security of the Senate's network, its members or staff."
The intrusion is part of a spree of hacks by the group, which has targeted Japanese media-and-technology giant Sony Corp. (SNE, 6758.TO), the Atlanta chapter of Federal Bureau of Investigation affiliate InfraGard and U.S. public broadcaster PBS. Other hackers have targeted similar companies and organizations, though none have been as bold as LulzSec in posting pilfered data and boasting about their exploits. One attack forced defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) to temporarily shut down systems that allowed employees to access the company's computer networks remotely.
The rash of cyber attacks has triggered investigation by law enforcement agencies and politicians. In Spain and Turkey, police arrested a total of 35 people believed to be related to Anonymous, another hacker group.
Analysts said the attacks have the potential to weaken confidence in the Internet, which has grown from its roots as a communications system into a major area of commerce.
"This is undermining the way we use the Internet today," said Craig Spiezle, who runs Online Trust Alliance, an online security organization.
Also on Monday, LulzSec, as the group sometimes refers to itself, said it had broken into a website run by Bethesda Softworks LLC, which makes horror and fantasy games.
Bethesda acknowledged its network had been breached but said that no personal financial information or credit card data had been stolen. The company, part of Washington-based ZeniMax Media Inc., makes games that run on computers, consoles and handheld devices.
"The hackers may have gained access to some user names, email addresses, and/or passwords," the company said in a statement. "As a precaution, we recommend that all our fans immediately change passwords on all our sites."
In a press release, LulzSec described the hack as being so thorough it had access to almost all areas of the company's network. The group also said it had refrained from posting information related to the more 200,000 users of a Bethesda game called "Brink."
"We actually like this company," the group wrote. "So we'll give them one less thing to worry about."
-By Andrew Morse, Dow Jones Newswires; 415-439-6402; email@example.com
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