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Hackers Deface 26 Government Sites

January 22, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ Hackers defaced 26 government Web sites in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia late last week, the security group Attrition.org said Monday.

B.K. DeLong, a staff member for the group, said that while larger attacks have been recorded in the past, this one was significant because it involved government sites across three time zones.

``Sometimes people who deface Web sites try to deface them when the administrator might be sleeping,″ he said.

With three time zones, he said, someone was bound to be awake and on duty in at least one of the locations. Each defacement lasted for at least 15 minutes before they were caught and fixed, DeLong said.

A group called Pentaguard took credit. Pentaguard left a message on the attacked sites suggesting that their targets were useless because they did not contain pornography or MP3 music files.

According to Attrition, attacked sites included the California State Assembly Republican Caucus, the U.S. National Cemetery Administration and the Alaska office of the U.S. Interior Department. Attrition is a computer security site that keeps archives of defacements.

DeLong said the group has attacked at least 48 other sites, including those for the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force and the Department of Treasury. The group, DeLong said, have also defaced government sites in China, Kuwait, Romania, Georgia and Vietnam.

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