Yesterday afternoon, the Central Intelligence Agency's public website went down. Hacking group Lulz Security claimed responsibility for taking the espionage agency's site offline – and to add insult to injury, they claim to now be taking requests for hacks via a phone hotline.
The CIA's public website is up and fully functional today, but that wasn't the story a little before 3 PM Pacific Time yesterday. That's when LulzSec sent out the tweet “Tango down – cia.gov – for the lulz.” As of 20 minutes after that tweet, cia.gov returned an error message.
This attack is the latest in a string of hacks by LulzSec that have earned the group a prominent profile in the past few months. In just the past couple of months, LulzSec claims to have hacked into a number of sites owned by Sony, including Sony Pictures and Sony Music Japan. They're also claiming credit for hacks on sites owned by Nintendo, Bethesda Software, and Infragard; the latter is known to work closely with the FBI.
Not all of LulzSec's attacks are aimed at simply taking the target website offline. Last weekend, the group hacked into the U.S. Senate's website, and gained access to the server's directory and file structure. LulzSec subsequently published this information on its own website. About the Senate hack, LulzSec later wrote "We don't like the US government very much. Their boats are weak, their lulz are low, and their sites aren't very secure."
Adding insult to injury, the hacking group tweeted a phone number that it claims users can call to request them to take down particular websites. "Call into 614-LulzSec and pick a target, and we'll obliterate it," read one LulzSec tweet. "Nobody wants to mess with The Lulz Cannon--take aim for us Twitter."
The hotline boasts an area code situated in the Columbus, Ohio metropolitan area, but this does not mean that LulzSec members are actually located there. The hacking group claims that on the first day after it posted the phone number to Twitter, it completed eight takedown requests, missed 5,000 calls and received 2,500 voicemails. Attacked sites included Escapist Magazine, Eve Online, and League of Legends.
For more on this, visit http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-20071387-83/cia-web-site-down-lulzsec-claims-responsibility/ and http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20071216-17/lulzsec-fields-calls-via-hacking-request-line/.
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