Hackers' challenge Web site goes dark

One day after news broke about an online contest for malicious hackers, the Web site set up for the contest is offline and security experts are casting doubt on the severity of the threat posed by the contest. The contest, known as the Defacers Challenge, awards points to malicious hackers who successfully compromise an organization's Web server and deface its Web pages, according to a warning from Internet Security Systems Inc. (ISS).

The international hacking contest is scheduled to begin Sunday and could cause headaches for organizations worldwide and disrupt the Internet, ISS said. On Thursday, however, the contest Web site, http://www.defacers-challenge.com, was offline. The company that hosted the Web site, Affinity Internet, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, took the site down Wednesday after learning of the site. An Affinity spokeswoman cited violations of the terms of its customer usage agreement as the reason for shutting the site down.

Security experts and those close to the defacers community said Thursday that large-scale disruptions caused by the contest are unlikely. "This is something that we're not taking that seriously," said Caleb Sima, chief technical officer for security company SPI Dynamics of Atlanta, Georgia. "Most real hackers don't pay much attention to things like this, and the kids who do participate in these (contests) are script kiddies who are already out trying to scan and deface things anyway, without needing a special day for it."

News source: InfoWorld

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