United States Senate.gov hacked by LulzSec

Over the past few weeks alone, there have been a variety of cases where there has either been a security breach with a company's systems or a set of hackers being arrested. Today it has been revealed that LulzSec, a seemingly upcoming group of people intent on testing the integrity of an organisation's digital security, have announced they have gained access to Senate.gov.

While the LulzSec group aren't particularly great fans of the United States government, they appear to have not revealed any information that would be of any particular use or interest to a computer user/political enthusiast. However, given that the site was able to be breached at all, questions have been raised over whether server security is being taken as seriously within the United States as previous statements have suggested.

Christopher M. Vontz, who is the server administrator for Senate.gov, was paid around $125,431 in 2010, with a clear pattern of increasing year on year. With this security breach of a public website, run institutionally by the United States, this will certainly stir up some hard feelings from within.

Cybercrime has become an almost every day news story in some form on technology and general news websites in recent weeks, with LulzSec targeting numerous companies and now a major world power's legislature website. LulzSec have no doubt become a prime target to those seeking perpetrators of cybercrime.

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TRC - I say hire them because there clearly better than the current security people they have employed. Give them a full time job and get them back in society the correct and legal way. I doubt there's no stopping them, but if they were hired then they could do 'real' good work.

Good on them, if and when they do get caught I just hope that the government gives them a job at the end of it, because hopefully they would of sacked their security people, thus a job position becoming available.

Dan~ said,
Good on them, if and when they do get caught I just hope that the government gives them a job at the end of it, because hopefully they would of sacked their security people, thus a job position becoming available.

Why does everyone say we should reward criminals by giving them jobs? That's so stupid. As if there aren't many talented programmers out there who actually contribute to society instead of breaking the law who could really use those jobs. Yes a lot of security people should be fired, but give the jobs to good people who need them and not wastes of oxygen like lulzsec.

I find it hilarious people honestly think it is a single "group" of people, do you honestly think the hacks would be rolling out this quickly if it was one group? No one is that stupid.

Joseph B said,
I find it hilarious people honestly think it is a single "group" of people, do you honestly think the hacks would be rolling out this quickly if it was one group? No one is that stupid.

So far Lulzsec is the only group taking responsibility for the latest hacks that have occurred. They are the only group right now that anyone cares about getting caught for these hacks.

This is going to be fun... I really hope they aren't just a bunch of kids using script kiddies like part of Anon are... this things are handy... I must say.

MidnightDevil said,
This is going to be fun... I really hope they aren't just a bunch of kids using script kiddies like part of Anon are... this things are handy... I must say.

they're not. anon also has skilled "members" but as an open "organization" it is, many sk can join anytime..

I mean I wish that hackers like this would go about it more diplomatically, but at least it was these guys and not an actual terrorist organization that could do intense damage. These types of security holes are unacceptable, handle your **** government.

presence06 said,
Osama... I mean, Obama prepping to push "I haz control of interwebz" button.... 3....2.......

Go back to having tea parties, I liked you guys better that way. Mr. Heffalump needs more sugar!

@Pupik

probably.. they dont want to steal ur CC info, they just want to prove a point! if they want to use ur info, they wouldnt tell everyone that they got it, giving u a chance to cancel it all and order a new card.

guitmz said,
i assure u ur info is secure as long u know where u put it into

I've put my personal and credit card information upon the creation/usage of a PSN account. Is it safe there?

Pupik said,

I've put my personal and credit card information upon the creation/usage of a PSN account. Is it safe there?

Not safe there thanks to Sony.

freak180 said,

Not safe there thanks to Sony.

Did I really had to add "/sarcasm"? Your data isn't safe just because you know where you put it.
And I can provide more examples by the recent hacking news. Your data is never really safe online.
The only way to keep it safe, is to bury it in a ground locked in a safe. But that's too much of a bother for "my" login information to pron.com

Pupik said,

I've put my personal and credit card information upon the creation/usage of a PSN account. Is it safe there?

Ask Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC

guitmz said,
i assure u ur info is secure as long u know where u put it into

First, l2spell.

Second, no. I don't have a PSN account, but for the sake of the point. I would KNOW that I placed my financial information there, but yet it is not secure. Probably a more personal example, my Amazon credit card. I KNOW they have my SSN, but if a data security breech occurs, it is still compromised.

Your fallacy is that you are making a non sequitur. Whether someone has the knowledge of where their data is does not make it safe. That is like saying that because you know where your house is that therefore it is theft proof. Or that if you know where you parked your car, you don't have to lock it.

Brian Miller said,
How on earth were they able to gain root access to the server?

admin/1234

What all these hacks show is that there are a lot of overpaid and underqualified people "in charge" of security. It's like the y2k gravy train all over again.

protocol7 said,

admin/1234

What all these hacks show is that there are a lot of overpaid and underqualified people "in charge" of security. It's like the y2k gravy train all over again.


Don't forget admin/admin.

Pupik said,
Fun to watch, until your own info going to be leaked in one of their next attacks.
Well thats the company's fault for not keeping it secured

freak180 said,
Well thats the company's fault for not keeping it secured

that's now how it works though, its your fault for giving it out in the eyes of the card companies, and governments......

Pupik said,
Fun to watch, until your own info going to be leaked in one of their next attacks.

Honestly, while that would be very upsetting, I think I'd be more angry with the establishment than anything.

MVE2 said,
The main problem are security holes, not hackers.

If you see an unlocked door, do you open it and take whatever is inside?

No, you don't. It's the same thing here. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

Xilo said,

If you see an unlocked door, do you open it and take whatever is inside?

No, you don't. It's the same thing here. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

But would you warn the owner that they left it open? I think most people would.

Xilo said,

If you see an unlocked door, do you open it and take whatever is inside?

No, you don't. It's the same thing here. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

"While the LulzSec group aren't particularly great fans of the United States government, they appear to have not revealed any information that would be of any particular use or interest to a computer user/political enthusiast."

Xilo said,

If you see an unlocked door, do you open it and take whatever is inside?

No, you don't. It's the same thing here. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

What use is a safe with a really advanced lock, if it has a gaping hole in the side of it?

rob.derosa said,

But would you warn the owner that they left it open? I think most people would.

Warn them by unlawfully entering their home? No, I think I'd go to jail for that.

TRC said,

Warn them by unlawfully entering their home? No, I think I'd go to jail for that.

Well by the looks of it all they did was pop in, put a note on the table and leave.

Ci7 said,
The US gov gonna have the last LOOL ,after they nuke ur ass roflskate haxxxor!

Assuming that LulzSec doesn't do anything malicious, then aren't they doing the government a service? I mean better to be hacked and expose weakness, than hacked and expose critical documents...

UseLess said,

Assuming that LulzSec doesn't do anything malicious, then aren't they doing the government a service? I mean better to be hacked and expose weakness, than hacked and expose critical documents...

First of all, hacking into another server that isn't your own is illegal. Second, this group is nothing more than a bunch of vigilantes who need to be taught a lesson, hopefully soon.

UseLess said,

Assuming that LulzSec doesn't do anything malicious, then aren't they doing the government a service? I mean better to be hacked and expose weakness, than hacked and expose critical documents...

Haven't they stolen sensitive data and posted it? I would think that constitutes criminal activity and would be enough to prosecute them. I also believe hacking, blackhat hacking is illegal according to various cybercrime laws.

Xtreme2damax said,

Haven't they stolen sensitive data and posted it? I would think that constitutes criminal activity and would be enough to prosecute them. I also believe hacking, blackhat hacking is illegal according to various cybercrime laws.

I don't know what they stole. If they stole incidental data (eg. an 'out of order' sign) then I would consider that to be harmless, and 'useful' hacking (ie. exposing an SQL injection weakness or something). Another group could have used the same exploit to steal valuable and dangerous data.

This DDoS garbage (see MC/EVE) they have been doing to other sites is just pointless and childish. That I do believe they should be locked up for.

"upcoming group of people intent on testing the integrity of an organisation's digital security" - haha that's like calling car thieves 'a group of people intent on testing the security of vehicles' thus forcing car makers to improve...

Doesn't matter how much a sys admin is paid - with 0 day exploitz you can be patch-o-lockdown-o-God and still 'get owned'.

PS
Did I mention how much Neowin has turned into a tabloid site these days? Neobond - shame on you! ;-)

Elessar said,
For once I hope the government wastes tax-payers' dollars on find these kids and prosecuting them
That kind of thinking is exactly why the US is turning into a tyrannical state and losing money at the same time. Guess who's winning all the tax payer's dollars? The corporations. Guess where they are going to run to when the US is all raped and thrown into the garbage? China, India, etc.

Get it through your head. The US has 14 ****ing trillion dollars in debt. You can't get into a worse situation than that.

If I were the US govt I'd be asking for my money back from Mr Vontz and also asking him WTF was he doing and why the F wasn't the site secure maybe they should send Mr Vontz for a short holiday to a certain interrogation camp ( Guantanamo )

Dark Atheist said,

Probably because MS are rebooting them every 15 mins

Wow what a hater... nah jk, you're probably right lol

They will all be caught soon enough, I wonder who will have the last "lulz" then? They are insanely stupid by hacking government websites, all they are doing is putting a big red target on their foreheads. Not only are these several corporations going to want them brought to justice, the government will as well and that doesn't spell good news for them.

Xtreme2damax said,
They will all be caught soon enough, I wonder who will have the last "lulz" then? They are insanely stupid by hacking government websites, all they are doing is putting a big red target on their foreheads. Not only are these several corporations going to want them brought to justice, the government will as well and that doesn't spell good news for them.

Stupid dog!

I find it actually really funny. As a US citizen and an anti-US proponent, I have to say this is probably one of the funniest things I have ever seen. We need to get our pride stepped and urinated on.

LukeEmery said,

Stupid dog!

I find it actually really funny. As a US citizen and an anti-US proponent, I have to say this is probably one of the funniest things I have ever seen. We need to get our pride stepped and urinated on.

If this is the funniest thing you've ever seen you've led a very sad existence.

LukeEmery said,

We need to get our pride stepped and urinated on

Not like that hasn't happened at all this past decade or so...

LukeEmery said,

I have

Aw, don't let it get you down. Go put on some Monty Python and make a bowl of ice cream.

Really though, things like this only make everything worse for all of us. Plus these guys are probably going to be caught too, then was it worth ruining their lives for a few lulz?

Edited by Thrackerzod, Jun 14 2011, 5:48pm :

Skyfrog said,

Aw. Go put on some Monty Python and make a big bowl of ice cream.

Monty Python sucks. I would rather see some Colbert, Psych, and The Office.

LukeEmery said,

As a US citizen and an anti-US proponent, I have to say this is probably one of the funniest things I have ever seen. We need to get our pride stepped and urinated on.

"anti-US proponent"? You don't like the US, yet you live here?

Our government does need changing (especially the pres and his economic advisers), but I'm not sure what this "anti-US" feeling is for.

Or...maybe you are a terrorist. Hm.

LaserWraith said,

"anti-US proponent"? You don't like the US, yet you live here?

Our government does need changing (especially the pres and his economic advisers), but I'm not sure what this "anti-US" feeling is for.

Or...maybe you are a terrorist. Hm.

*facepalm*

Everything about your post fits perfectly. You don't like the president, and you don't like the current economic advisors. My guess, you are a Randian Capitalist who has conservative leaning social values, otherwise known as a "Republican."

I am against nationalistic fervor, religion, capitalism (because it is imperialistic in nature), lack of education, and almost complete disregard for the environment. That essentially sums up the US.

Why do I still live here? If the USA became a tyrannical state, would I really be safe anywhere else?

LukeEmery said,

...

"You don't like the president"
I think he has made some bad decisions and isn't that qualified to be president. Because of his color, he probably inspired plenty of uninformed people to vote.

"My guess, you are a Randian Capitalist"
I'm not sure about the Randian part, but I do believe the capitalism is the best we can have. Communism/socialism has been shown not to work. Most people don't want dictatorships either. What do you want to replace capitalism, if you don't like it?

"Republicans" aren't bad. Neither is a reasonable amount of conservatism.

"I am against nationalistic fervor"
You mean, we should all not like our country? We should all be like you?

"religion"
Ok. We should tell the poor our church helps (food and mission trips, where we build/fix houses and other problems) that the program is cancelled. We'll also say that it looks like the US gov is digging its debt grave, so bye-bye gov handouts. Happy starvation, because if we aren't allowed to have a religion which encourages us to help the poor, we might focus on ourselves more. After all...why should we help others then?

"capitalism"
As I asked, what do you think is better?

"lack of education"
I'm not against education (although the more people that have education, the more you need to have an edge), but I think government-run schools are less effective.

"almost complete disregard for the environment"
And you'll fix that how? With a huge government strictly enforcing all energy use?
That type of government is always the bad side in the books I've read.
I'm for the environment, but I can't see many reasonable alternatives to some issues.

LaserWraith said,

I think he has made some bad decisions and isn't that qualified to be president. Because of his color, he probably inspired plenty of uninformed people to vote.

LOL, his color? That is your scapegoat huh? You think that the US wants corporation-loving presidents and war?

LaserWraith said,

I'm not sure about the Randian part, but I do believe the capitalism is the best we can have. Communism/socialism has been shown not to work. Most people don't want dictatorships either. What do you want to replace capitalism, if you don't like it?

What are you using as a reference for "socialism"? I am using the places like the Netherlands and Finland, where education, their economy, civil rights, crime are all in a better position than our own.

LaserWraith said,

"Republicans" aren't bad. Neither is a reasonable amount of conservatism.

The only conservatism I am concerned about is environmental. Though in the term that is used in politics, I see nothing of value.

LaserWraith said,

"I am against nationalistic fervor"
You mean, we should all not like our country? We should all be like you?

No. Nationalism is not good because it makes people irrational. People ought to think on the meta level. Not "What is good for the country" but rather "what is good for mankind?"

LaserWraith said,

Ok. We should tell the poor our church helps (food and mission trips, where we build/fix houses and other problems) that the program is cancelled. We'll also say that it looks like the US gov is digging its debt grave, so bye-bye gov handouts. Happy starvation, because if we aren't allowed to have a religion which encourages us to help the poor, we might focus on ourselves more. After all...why should we help others then?

That was probably the most fallacious statement yet. Non sequitur. The church takes money from the poor, it does not pay taxes, and it supports ignorance and intolerance. The occasional garage sale or soup kitchen volunteers does not account for all of the harm it has done and continues to do.

LaserWraith said,

As I asked, what do you think is better?

Socialism if we maintain a monetary system. Otherwise I would prefer a bartering-free society where resources belong to a collective rather than individuals.

LaserWraith said,

I'm not against education (although the more people that have education, the more you need to have an edge), but I think government-run schools are less effective.

That is for various reasons. Everyone agrees that our schools are awful, but whether the government runs them or not is irrelevant. Besides, the academic environment is what is most concerning. The witch hunt for biology teachers and logic is appalling.

LaserWraith said,

"almost complete disregard for the environment"
And you'll fix that how? With a huge government strictly enforcing all energy use?
That type of government is always the bad side in the books I've read.
I'm for the environment, but I can't see many reasonable alternatives to some issues.

That is one way. But the government is not on the bad side. We must embrace the government and use it as a tool, as it should be used. We need to use it like the European states do today, not like how it has become here or how it is used in totalitarian states in the oriental nations.

Xtreme2damax said,
They will all be caught soon enough, I wonder who will have the last "lulz" then? They are insanely stupid by hacking government websites, all they are doing is putting a big red target on their foreheads. Not only are these several corporations going to want them brought to justice, the government will as well and that doesn't spell good news for them.
I bet they don't.

"LOL, his color? That is your scapegoat huh? You think that the US wants corporation-loving presidents and war?"
Scapegoat for what? I was just saying that might have been one reason Obama won...some people thought we need to have a "colored" president.

"What are you using as a reference for 'socialism'? I am using the places like the Netherlands and Finland, where education, their economy, civil rights, crime are all in a better position than our own."
I'm meaning a state that gives money and supplies to its citizens. While it might work in the short term, usually it doesn't give as many people the inspiration to work harder. Further, the more a government is involved, the more complicated something can become. It is hard to keep a government efficient (and keep the people running it from trying to expand their own power, and because of that, the government's).

"No. Nationalism is not good because it makes people irrational. People ought to think on the meta level. Not 'What is good for the country' but rather 'what is good for mankind?'"

The problems is that can be hard to determine. Say one barbaric government doesn't care about idealistic "care for mankind" goals (of course, patriotism is idealistic too, but a bit easier to grasp) and invades another country, which does care more about "all of mankind." Should they immediately surrender and subject themselves to the invaders armies so as not to cause trouble for mankind?

People are not just going to be nice to everyone.

"That was probably the most fallacious statement yet. Non sequitur. The church takes money from the poor, it does not pay taxes, and it supports ignorance and intolerance. The occasional garage sale or soup kitchen volunteers does not account for all of the harm it has done and continues to do."

Churches (at least most) don't take, but receive. The government takes and gives/wastes (because they can), churches receive and help if possible (because the people who visit want to give and help the church). Churches also give to missions and charities. You seem to just focus on "the occasional garage sale or soup kitchen volunteers", but many (includes ours) do more.

"it supports ignorance and intolerance"

There is more to many churches than money and faith. You probably only notice the fake preacher who try and convince people to give money (of which, quite a bit helps himself). Christian churches often work in the background...showing off and broadcasting isn't supported by the Bible.

"Socialism if we maintain a monetary system. Otherwise I would prefer a bartering-free society where resources belong to a collective rather than individuals."

I bet it would not take long for any central authority to get filled with corruption.

"That is for various reasons. Everyone agrees that our schools are awful, but whether the government runs them or not is irrelevant. Besides, the academic environment is what is most concerning. The witch hunt for biology teachers and logic is appalling."

I heard an interesting presentation which showed the home schoolers are often better educated. Maybe it is because their parents are able to care for them.

Private schools have a better environment than public schools, on average, I would think.

"That is one way. But the government is not on the bad side. We must embrace the government and use it as a tool, as it should be used. We need to use it like the European states do today, not like how it has become here or how it is used in totalitarian states in the oriental nations."

Ha, good luck with that. I wonder if you are infected with a case of "the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence". The more power the government has, the worse it will get (maybe not in the short-term, as it might take time for more corruption and bureaucracy to spread).

We voters can control the main figureheads and people in power (Congress, the pres, governors), but there are tons of people who can't be easily discovered and kicked out. Besides, the views of common citizens change quickly.

LaserWraith said,

"anti-US proponent"? You don't like the US, yet you live here?

Our government does need changing (especially the pres and his economic advisers), but I'm not sure what this "anti-US" feeling is for.

Or...maybe you are a terrorist. Hm.

ER.. Y does a person who dislikes US got to be a terrorist? That's just absurd... M pretty sure some ppl may not like my country.. well, so what? they dont become monsters who intill terror in others...

LordBattleBeard said,
I don't think so.

I do think so. With the amount of corporations and the USA government they've ****ed off so far, they probably have the FBI hot on their tails and it's only a matter of time before they are finally caught.

Regardless of what everyone thinks proxies, vpn's and hell even botnets aren't entirely foolproof for concealing identities. Even if it's a botnet, those zombie computers have to call home or the "botmaster" then it becomes a matter of tracking the person or persons responsible for the server.

badrobot14 said,

ER.. Y does a person who dislikes US got to be a terrorist? That's just absurd... M pretty sure some ppl may not like my country.. well, so what? they dont become monsters who intill terror in others...

I was purposely saying something absurd, partly because his posts so far could have been interpreted as supporting terrorism. "Anti-US"? "Anti-patriotism"? Anti-status-quo?

Besides, he could easily be "terrorizing" anyone who is debating with him. Telling people to forget about their religion and country and "be friends with all mankind" might make some uncomfortable.

P.S. ... good luck on uniting mankind, unless we are faced with some major obvious external threat or goal. Like aliens.

FMH said,
Where is this hacker group based? Couldn't find any info in that.

I heard a rumour that they were based in the UK, just a rumour though.

FMH said,
Where is this hacker group based? Couldn't find any info in that.

From what I can see in his Twitter feed, he's a very UK based person. Won't be long until he's caught if he keeps up like that.

n_K said,
Targetting gov sites? They bring shame and more over-regulation over us all. great...
Don't kid yourself, the government will continue to prise freedoms from ordinary people regardless.