Hackers break into Interior, Army Web sites

A hacker group calling themselves "Crime Boy's" has launched successful

attacks this week against World Wide Web pages maintained by the Interior

Department and the Army.

The hackers, thought to work out of Brazil, this week defaced the main Web

pages maintained by the Bureau of Land Management's National Training Center

and the Army's Reserve Officer Training Corps Command. The group also attempted

a third series of attacks against NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, forcing

the agency to block all Internet traffic from Brazil.

The Crime Boy's broke into the National Training Center Web site March 12

and replaced the agency's Web page with a page protesting the Brazilian

government. Officials discovered the attack the next morning. The hackers

launched a second attack March 16, replacing the page a second time even

as NTC officials were correcting some of the security problems.

The group claimed to be protesting what they called a "corrupt" Brazilian

government. But they also sent a message to the federal agencies that the

sites targeted were "very badly configured."

Security officials at NASA's JPL last week also detected a "fairly substantial

number of attacks" originating in Brazil, said Frank O'Donnell, spokesman

at the Pasadena, Calif.-based laboratory. The agency put in a temporary

block that restricted nearly the entire country of Brazil from viewing the

agency's Web sites and also installed security patches, O'Donnell said.

JPL removed the block at noon EST, March 17.

The National Postal Mail Handlers Union site, which is accessible through

the U.S. Postal Service's intranet, also has been attacked, but it is unclear

what group is responsible for the attacks.

Phillip Loranger, chief of the Command and Control Protect Division at the

Army's Information Assurance Office, announced March 14 that the group had

threatened to take down the main Army home page [FCW.com, March 15]. However,

sources say the main Army page was too difficult for the group to crack

because it is based on Apple Computer Inc.'s MacIntosh WebStar platform.

— Reporter Paula Trimble contributed to this report.

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