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Top 5 U.S. Government Web Sites Hacked in 2011

Top 5 U.S. Government Web Sites Hacked in 2011

Over the past few months, cyberwarfare initiated by a group of hackers against governments and security companies around the world has ramped up.

 

The hacker group Lulz Security (LulzSec) has claimed responsibility for a number of large-scale data breaches. The group is also working closely with another hacker group called Anonymous, and has encouraged other groups and individuals “to open fire on any government or agency that crosses their path.” They named the undertaking as “Operation Anti-Security.”

 

Hacker collectives LulzSec and Anonymous have sent a new message to the U.S. FBI after the law enforcement agency promised to increase the ferocity of its campaign against hacking.

 

According to hackers, their action would reveal the crooked nature of governments and law enforcement, and impair their ability to terrorize communities.

 

Here is our take on top five U.S. government agencies and Web sites that were targeted by hackers so far in 2011.

 

The U.S. Senate

Back in June, LulzSec claimed responsibility for a successful cyberattack on the U.S. Senate Web site. However, the Senate stated in a statement that the hackers couldn’t breach the firewall protecting the more sensitive portion of the network.

 

On the other hand, LulzSec put the allegedly stolen data on its Web site and commented:

 

“We don’t like the U.S. government very much. Their boats are weak, their lulz are low, and their sites aren’t very secure. In an attempt to help them fix their issues, we’ve decided to donate additional lulz in the form of owning them some more!

 

“This is a small, just-for-kicks release of some internal data from Senate.gov — is this an act of war, gentlemen? Problem?”

LulzSec’s post pointed to a possible motivation for its attack as being the U.S. governments recent policy of treating all cyberattacks in the same manner as a real-world attack.

 

The Pentagon

In July, Deputy U.S. Secretary of Defense William Lynn admitted that a “foreign intelligence service” stole 24,000 sensitive defense department files in a single March operation. Lynn didn’t elaborate much, but said that officials had a “pretty good idea” of who was responsible.

 

Lynn admitted that it was one of the largest cyberattacks the Pentagon has ever faced, and it was data-related. “A great deal of it concerns our most sensitive systems, including aircraft avionics, surveillance technologies, satellite communications systems, and network security protocols,” Lynn said in a speech at the National Defense University.

 

The Pentagon has already been working with the tech industry to construct a new set of safeguards and try to make its systems more agile and responsive. Such protections are needed especially for the many contractors the federal government employs.

 

The CIA

America’s own Central Intelligence Agency saw its worst nightmare come true when www.cia.gov went down on July 15, with the hacker group LulzSec claiming responsibility.

 

“Tango down — cia.gov — for the lulz,” the group wrote on Twitter.

 

However, Internet experts said that it was difficult to say whether a Web site is down because it was hacked, or whether it crashed because too many people tried to enter the site after they saw LulzSec’s tweet.

 

NASA

In May, there were reports that shady online salesmen offering cheap Adobe software managed to break into several Web pages belonging to NASA and Stanford University.

 

The hackers reportedly compromised page on NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Web site. The online attack came just days before the final launch of NASA’s shuttle Endeavor, which was scheduled for May 16.

 

According to a Computerworld report, the hacked pages were full of “nonsense text.” The pages also included interest-generating keywords, such as “Edit buy adobe premiere pro cs4 some callouts and balloons to make this time it took you and saved you a long time.”

 

FBI

The month of June this year witnessed another high profile government agency falling prey to hackers. In retribution to the NATO alliance’s “act of war” against hackers, hacker group LulzSec breached the FBI affiliated Web site, the Atlanta chapter of Infragard.

 

LulzSec on June 6 said in its Web site http://lulzsecurity.com that the group leaked the user base, including the 180 accounts. “Most of them reuse their passwords in other places, which is heavily frowned upon in the FBI/Infragard handbook and generally everywhere else too,” the group said.

 

LulzSec’s identified one of its victims, Karim Hijazi, who allegedly used his Infragard password for his personal Gmail, and the Gmail of the company he owns. “Unveillance, a whitehat company that specializes in data breaches and botnets, was compromised because of Karim’s incompetence. We stole all of his personal emails and his company emails.  We also briefly took over, among other things, their servers and their botnet control panel,” the hackers said.

 

The group posted a series of tweets mocking the FBI, of which one said, “we sit and laugh at the FBI. No times decided, but we’ll cook up something nice for tonight.”

 

OTHERS

Hackers have also targeted number government contractors and breached confidential information.

 

In May, hackers broke into the network of Lockheed Martin, the largest U.S. weapons manufacturer. The attack consisted of hackers breaching the system in order to copy login ids known as SecurID. The hackers would then use the ids to access the system’s network. However, Lockheed Martin managed to stop the “tenacious” attack before any critical data was stolen.

 

In July, hacking collective Anonymous into a server operated by U.S. government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. It released an approximately 190MB data torrent, which, according toeWeek, contained “login information of personnel from US CENTCOM, SOCOM, the Marine Corps, Air Force facilities, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State and other private sector contractors.”

 

The attack on Booz Allen Hamilton followed the attack on IRC Federal, a contractor that works with the Army, Navy, NASA, the Department of Justice and other government agencies.

 

The Anonymous group also targeted Arizona Police website and compromised data, claiming that to be a protest against the state’s immigration laws.

 

The hacker group “AntiSec”, a collective of hackers from the infamous mother groups called Anonymous and LulzSec again targeted U.S. police last week by hacking websites of several U.S. police agencies. The hackers claimed they had compromised confidential data of 10 gigabytes.

 

AntiSec, aka Anti-Security, said on Saturday that it has “defaced and destroyed” websites of U.S. police agencies as a revenge for the arrest of suspected peers, who are accused of hacking into the CIA, British crime agency SOCA, and Sony.

 

Source: http://www.ibtimes.com

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Discussion

  1. Sandeep  June 13, 2012

    Jack asked what the point of LulzSec was anymore. There is no point. There never was. I do agree with anynomous though. It is in the name… LULZ – Losers United Lacking Zyprexa Get a job, move out of mommy’s basement and contribute something useful to society. If the only way you can feel good about yourself (or have a LULZ) is to tear down something that someone else has built then you have serious issues. The good news is… they make medication for that. Try some!!! Flame away skiddies… :(

    (reply)

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