Pakistani hackers attack U.S. Govt. Web site : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread Posted at 4:59 p.m. PDT Thursday, October 25, 2001

Pakistani hackers attack U.S. Govt. Web site By Elinor Mills Abreu

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The U.S. government is investigating an attack on one of its Web sites in which a well-known Pakistani hacker group posted a message threatening to turn sensitive information over to the Al Qaeda organization unless the United States agreed to meet its terms.

A Web server for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was disabled for a few hours on Oct. 17 and has since been taken down, Greg Hernandez, online editor and Web master for the NOAA Web site, said on Thursday.

``The Internet security team is still doing forensics to see exactly where this attack originated,'' Hernandez said. ``They found a (digital) back door key and got in there and did this, but it did not affect the operational side'' of the site.

The message from the hacker group said: ``Though GForce Pakistan condemns the attacks on US, We also stand by Al-Qaeda,'' the renegade organization run by Osama bin Laden that is believed to be responsible for the Sept. 11 hijacking attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

``We have some very high confidential US data that will be given to the right authorities of Al-Qaeda, remember if you give us peace you will get peace,'' the message said, according to a Web site that has mirrored the defaced site.

The hackers also demanded that the U.S. remove troops from Saudi Arabia, stop bombing Afghanistan and stop supporting Israel.

The group threatened to hack undisclosed major Web sites, but added that they ``won't hurt any data, as it's unethical. All we want is our message conveyed.''

The defaced Web site was the ``back-up to a back-up'' to weather forecasting data NOAA provides to the Federal Aviation Administration, Hernandez said.

The U.S. National Infrastructure Protection Center, which is run by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, issued an advisory last week warning that there may be more ``cyber protests'' in light of the military conflicts.

While Web site defacements are the cyber equivalent of graffiti and more annoying than damaging, the advisory warns that more harmful activities could follow.

``While the cyber damage thus far has been minimal, the infrastructure will certainly be a target of cyber protesters and activists in the future, with the potential goal being intentional destruction rather than public embarrassment or purely political statements,'' the advisory said.

-- Martin Thompson (, October 25, 2001


Osama bin Laden did admit to the bombing in the taped interview from the cave.

-- Rick V (, October 26, 2001.

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