LulzSec Hackers Claim to Take Down CIA Website

By Ed Silverstein June 16, 2011

The CIA’s website was still not accessible to the public Thursday morning – several hours after a hacker group called LulzSec allegedly targeted the site with a DDoS attack.

LulzSec tweeted “Tango down - cia.gov - for the lulz” shortly after 6pm ET Wednesday, according to a report from Techland.

The CIA web site was down for about an hour, The Inquirer reported. It may have been longer.

LulzSec then sent out a message, “Goodnight twitter. The CIA anti-lizards will probably rise from the packet sea while we rest our shining-yet-saturated power field arrays.”

There are reports from Mashable the site was online Thursday morning but public visitors still could not gain access.

DDoS stands for “distributed denial of service.” It is where many on the web target a site’s servers (at the same time) and are able to take them down.

LulzSec was in the news in recent weeks, going after Sony’s servers where they gained access to personal user data, as well as Nintendo’s servers and those of the U.S. Senate.

There were reports that the hackers’ group was targeting these sites for either political reasons or they found it was amusing and challenging.

But authorities – at places such as the CIA – are not laughing.

Techland said LulzSec is a “splinter group” of Anonymous. Anonymous is a loosely organized group.

And officials were recently “rounding up individuals suspected of participating in Anonymous,” Techland said.

In addition, The International Business Times reports that members of Anonymous in Turkey, Spain, and the United Kingdom have either been detained or are awaiting trial for criminal hacking charges. In Turkey alone officials arrested “32 suspected members of Anonymous on June 13th,” Techland said.

In Spain, police arrested three suspects for an alleged role in hacking the Sony PlayStation Network, Techland said.

And U.K. authorities arrested six suspected Anonymous members for attacks on Amazon, PayPal and credit card websites, Techland said.

The U.S. Senate said it was targeted by LulzSec on Wednesday night – the second time this month – but kept “them from obtaining sensitive information.”

In the first attack of the U.S. Senate website earlier this month, LulzSec did not reach behind the firewall, nor did it compromise the personal information of any member of the Senate, according to a report on TechZone360.

As of Thursday morning, the CIA had not issued a statement about its website going down.

A CIA spokesperson told CNN, “we are looking into the reports,” according to Wired.CO.UK.

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Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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