The hacker group LulzSec yesterday claimed credit for taking down the CIA's web site for a couple of hours. According to analysts this seems to have been done only to poke and highlight vulnerabilities rather than causing real damage. The attack comes as the latest in a series of embarrassing web site disruptions that the group has caused in the last couple of weeks.
At 5:48 pm LulzSec, which describes itself as ''the world's leaders in high-quality entertainment at your expense,'' in an alert on Twitter said: ''Tango down - cia.gov - for the lulz.''
However, the site was restored by 8 pm.
Analysts say the fact that the group could get into web sites and harvest system administrators' credentials showed up the risks of failing to secure sites.
According to a cyber-security expert, web sites are like the low-hanging fruit, but they run on a server and those who can gain control of the server when the web site is on, can watch insiders log in and record their activity which could be a front door into the organisation.
Over the past few week, LulzSec has successfully hacked or brought down web sites belonging to PBS, Sony, the US Senate and the Atlanta chapter of InfraGard, a public-private partnership between the FBI and the private sector which aims to prevent hostile acts against the US by sharing of information and intelligence.