NASA Web Site Hacked

A hacker or group of hackers broke into NASA's Web server Wednesday and replaced the agency's NASA home page with a document decrying the commercialization of the Internet.

The hacker or hackers, identifying themselves as "hackerz against geeks in snowsuits," tapped into the web site just before noon on Wednesday. The hackers' replacement page, which promised future computer attacks against "corporate America," remained online until about 12:20 p.m., when NASA employees took the Web site down. NASA put its restored site back online at 9:30 yesterday morning.

This is the fourth in a series of what appear to be unrelated computer attacks against federal Web sites. In August, the Justice Department's site was broken into. A month later, the CIA's home page was replaced by hackers, and in December the Air Force home page was also broken into. A Justice Department spokesperson said the agency looked into the attack on its site and that "steps were taken to make it more difficult to happen."

The Air Force and the Justice Department are conducting an ongoing investigation into the attack against the Air Force site. The CIA has made some changes to its Web server, which is protected by an off-the-shelf security program.

Brian Dunbar, NASA's Internet services manager, says the agency's inspector general is conducting an investigation into this week's hacking incident. This is the first time, he says, that NASA's Web site has been successfully attacked.

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