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Hackers Post Anti-Kosova Slogans on Cheltenham Town Hall Website

The peace at Cheltenham Town Hall was shattered when hackers attacked its Website between 5pm on February 25, 2008 and 8am on February 26, 2008. The hackers have been identified as political activists from Moscow.

The attacker using the name Kebo hacked into the "Cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk site" and removed notices of Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra's plans to play overture to Die Fledermaus (meaning emotional experience) to post slogans accusing the Kosovan high society. However, there was no theft of bank details during the attack.

Visitors who browsed the Cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk site to gain knowledge about the next performance of the band paying tribute to Abba were instead led to a Website in Russian language talking about handing back Kosova to the Serbian authority.

The hackers who broke into the Website overloaded it with innumerable information packets every minute, said Simon Mellor, Managing Director, Webnetism (site designing and development), the company looking after the site's maintenance, as reported by Thisisgloucestershire on February 27, 2008.

According to the Website officials, hackers manage to break in by simply applying a trial-and-error method. They send commands to the computer server where any failure to understand them prompts to return with an accompanying error message. This tells the hacker to try another way to invade the system.

Attackers on the site hacked it by exploiting a security hole in its software. They had a political motive in which they tried to divert visiting traffic possibly to their own site. This diversion was carried out after they managed to crack the site's code.

Analysts think that hackers' choice of the Website was unlikely to be purposeful. The attack was made with the help of a number of bots running automated programs that weakens security on Websites by transmitting vast numbers of information requests.

Derek Aldridge, Manager for the town hall, said that they did not know the reason for the hack, which appeared to be plain computer vandalism. Aldridge assured that they, along with their Web designers, are trying to fix the loopholes to prevent any further attack, as reported by Timesonline on February 28, 2008.

Related article: Hackers Redirect Windows Live Search to Malicious Sites

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