Pennsylvanian State Websites Fall Prey to Hackers

Cyber-terrorists from China are supposed to have attacked the Pennsylvanian government site in the beginning of January 2008. However, officials asserted that they did not find any proof of damage.

The administration of Governor Rendell came to know about the virus attack on the website somewhere around the morning hours of January 4, 2008. The hackers targeted the websites of Pennsylvania Lottery along with those of the departments of Education, Industry, Labor, Military and Veterans Affairs during their strike.

The cyber terrorists found flaw in a media player software and exploited that to hack into the system, alleged Mia DeVane, an Office of Administration spokesperson, as reported by mcall.com on January 5, 2008. Every time there was an attack, they would simply infiltrate through a trap door, stated DeVane.

Before nightfall, almost all of the state's websites had been restored. Still, the cyber terrorist strike seemed to be restricted just to the executive branch Internet sites. Sites owned by the Legislature were undamaged.

SANS Institute's Research Director, Allen Paller, informed the SCMagazineUS.com on January 7, 2008 that Chinese cyber terrorists had circumvented well-known government sites.

He alleged that the witnessed activity had extended beyond the Defense Department as well as the defense industrial base, reported the SCMagazineUS.com.

But Paller was uncertain whether this wave of hackings is connected with the accounted state-supported strikes on the American defense infrastructures, such as the Energy Department installation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Pentagon.

Perhaps it's another gang, instead of the Chinese military, or they've found a motive for needing state data also, stated Paller.

Responding to different security-related queries, Mia DeVane informed that state websites unscathed by the strike were also closed down as a safety measure, including the site of Agriculture Department, which furnished details of the yearly Pennsylvania Farm Show, as reported by mcall.com.

DeVane attributed Pennsylvania's effective security position with being capable of warding off the strikes. She stated that she didn't have any news about strikes on other states, which she refused to name, as reported by SCMagazineUS.com.

In the final report published by mcall.com, DeVane declared that the state regularly prevented such strikes.

Related article: Pennsylvanian EPPICard Beneficiaries Warned of phishing Scam

» SPAMfighter News - 19-01-2008

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