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June 14, 2011

LulzSec at it Again, Hacks Senate Website

By Beecher Tuttle, TMCnet Contributor


The now-infamous hacker group known LulzSec continued its brazen run of attacks on high-profile organizations over the weekend by hacking into the public version of the U.S. Senate's website.

Senate Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms Martina Bradford acknowledged the hack on Monday, but said that the group did not reach behind the firewall, nor did it compromise the personal information of any member of the Senate, according to Reuters. Bradford suggested that the vulnerability could be linked to a particular senator's office, but failed to offer any specifics.


LulzSec took credit for the hack on Monday by posting a list of files and directory names that don't appear to be sensitive in nature. As for why the hackers added the U.S. government to their mantle of trophies, they said it was merely for fun.

"We don’t like the U.S. government very much," the group noted in a statement. "This is a small, just-for-kicks release of some internal data from Senate.gov - is this an act of war, gentlemen? Problem?"

LulzSec added that the government's sites are insecure, and the hack should help it realize that it needs to mend certain issues.

The U.S. Senate hack is the latest in a series of highly embarrassing attacks on a variety of organizations, including major corporations, defense contractors and financial groups.

LulzSec itself has taken credit for recent attacks on Sony, Nintendo, Fox.com and the Public Broadcasting Service. The PBS hack was said to be a response to a critical documentary that the network produced on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. In fact, the group just took credit for an attack on an online pornography network moments ago.

Other recent cyber attacks have targeted more sensitive information. Defense contractor Lockheed Martin (News - Alert) acknowledged last month that its network experienced a "significant and tenacious attack," although it said that no critical information was compromised. The attempted hack stemmed from an earlier attack on EMC-owned security unit RSA (News - Alert), which provides Lockheed and many other organizations with SecurID tokens for remote network access.

Just last weekend, the New York Times reported that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) experienced a "very major breach," according to an unnamed official. The full scope of the hack has yet to be determined.


Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny



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