Tonight the Attrition.org staff has mirrored one of the largest, most systematic defacements of worldwide government servers on the Web. The defacers, known as Pentaguard, took out various government Web sites from 3 countries - the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States.
While the message was the same on all Web sites targeted, we are intrigued by the fact that this was not a mass defacement of a series of government Web sites within an agency or even within a country - but 3 different nations in different time zones all at the same time with all sites remaining defaced for a period longer than 15 minutes.
Some of the US sites defaced were interesting due to the current issues within the country - the Republican Caucus for the California Legislature Web site was shutdown in the wake of a power crisis. The Alaskan Office for the Department of Interior Web site was defaced as the country waits to find out if Bush Nominee Gale Norton will be confirmed for Secretary of the Interior (especially when one of the issues at the core of the controversial appointment is her views on oil prospecting in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.)
The UK defacements consisted of a series of small municipalities as well as city and county governments - the most interesting being a Web site set up by the UK government to disseminate information regarding Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy otherwise known as "Mad Cow Disease."
Australian targets were similar to those in the UK with one notable exception - Pentaguard took down a legislative search application for the entire Commonwealth of Australia, similar to the US Library of Congress' Thomas archive.
Pentaguard is no stranger to government and military Web site defacements. A breakout page containing 48 of their previous defacements includes a plethora of US government and military Web sites from the Army, Navy and Air Force to the National Institute of Health, Department of Treasury, the US Court system and both NASA and Department of Energy Web sites. The US wasn't the only country - they've defaced sites of the governments of China, Kuwait, Romania, Georgia, and even Vietnam.
gov/mil group 34 pentaguard 32 hv2k 28 gforce pakistan 25 forpaxe 21 fuqrag
Pentaguard is the largest defacer of government and military Web sites based on our mirror.
© 2001 B.K. DeLong for Attrition.org
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