RealTime IT News

NASA Web Sites Hacked

Thirteen NASA Web sites were attacked this morning by a Brazilian group protesting the war in Iraq, according to two separate organizations that monitor hacking.

On the same day as President George Bush and 34,000 onlookers celebrated the achievements of the Wright brothers and 100 years of powered flight, the Brazilian group, calling itself DRWXR, defaced the NASA Web sites, according to both mi2g, a digital risk management company based in London, and Zone-H, an organization that monitors hacking.

The Zone-H Web site itself was down today. No one at Zone-H could be contacted by deadline to find out if their troubles are linked to the fact that they reported the NASA hacking incident.

A spokesman at mi2g says that they have not been attacked.

Some of the attacked online servers belong to NASA's Computing, Information and communications Technology Program (CICT), The Advanced Supercomputing Division, the Information Power Grid (IPG) and the NASA Research & Education Network (NREN).

The main NASA Web site -- www.nasa.gov -- apparently was not hit. The site was still available today.

The message left behind on the sites protests the U.S.-led war in Iraq. The hackers also attached a video clip which reportedly shows U.S. soldiers killing an Iraqi.

''This is one of the most significant breaches of .GOV domain -- US Government -- sites in the last six months,'' says a spokesman for mi2g. ''In the wake of the war with Iraq, significant effort has been put into protecting online computer systems by the U.S. federal and state governments, making regular and publicly visible breaches of computing infrastructure a less frequent occurrence.''

NASA has reportedly made significant improvements to its Web site security since a hacking group called the Trippin Smurfs brought down nine servers belonging to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory 10 months ago. In that attack, the hackers left messages protesting U.S. involvement in the Middle East. That was the third time the Trippen Smurfs had successfully compromised servers in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.