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.

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