[ISN] Hacker Backers Disrupt Newspaper Web Sites

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Fri Jan 15 1999 - 12:37:32 PST

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    [Moderator: Anyone know of a mirror to these hacks?]
    Hacker Backers Disrupt Newspaper Web Sites
    Michael Stroh
    Monday, January 11, 1999
    Some Web surfers logging onto the Baltimore Sun's Web site Friday got a
    surprise: Instead of the day's headlines, they saw only a stark
    black-and-white Web page with a bizarre letter that began:  ``Kevin Freed
    by Cows.''
    SunSpot and a handful of other Web sites fell victim to computer hackers
    conducting a campaign to free master hacker Kevin Mitnick. 
    While the incident caused no permanent damage -- the Sun site was
    available within two hours -- it did cause several bewildered readers to
    call, asking what had happened. 
    Bob London of Intermedia Business Internet, the Beltsville, Md., Internet
    service provider whose computers host SunSpot, confirmed that its
    computers were penetrated about 9:30 a.m. EDT. The security breech, he
    said, was repaired by 11:07 a.m. 
    Two tabloids who use Intermedia -- the National Enquirer and the Star --
    also were affected. Intermedia officials said a ``limited number'' of
    their 2,500 business customers were affected, including some nonmedia
    While it's unclear who was behind this particular break-in, the strange
    message contained references to Mitnick, a figure in the hacker community
    once listed by the FBI as the world's most wanted computer criminal. 
    Since 1995, Mitnick has been jailed in Los Angeles, awaiting trial on
    computer-related fraud charges. (He has two previous convictions for
    similar crimes.) His trial had been scheduled to begin this month but was
    recently postponed until April, a move that has caused grumbling on Web
    sites dedicated to him. 
    Computer security experts say Mitnick's long imprisonment without a trial
    has inspired many Web site attacks by young acolytes trying to bring
    attention to his cause. 
    ``We see 150 to 200 Web page hacks a week that have to do with Kevin
    Mitnick,'' said John Vranesevich, founder of AntiOnline, an organization
    in Beaver, Pa., that aims to educate the public about hackers. 
    Most of these attacks involve small, mom-and-pop Web sites, Vranesevich
    said. Sometimes, however, hackers attempt to topple bigger game. In
    September, for example, the New York Times was forced to close its Web
    site for nine hours after hackers who claimed to support Mitnick broke in
    and vandalized the paper's home page. 
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