The US Senate’s website was hacked over the weekend by the loosely organised hacker group Lulz Security.
Lulz Security, who has also hacked into Sony’s website and the US Public Broadcasting System, announced the hack yesterday.
Martina Bradford, the Deputy Senate Sergeant at Arms, said the hackers broke into a public portion of the Senate website but did not reach behind a firewall into a more sensitive portion of the network.
Despite the breach, the Sergeant at Arms Office, which provides security for the Senate, said the breach had not compromised any individual senator’s information.
“We were responding to their allegations. Basically what we’re saying that the server they got into is for public access and is in the public side,” said Bradford.
Lulz Security posted online a list of files that appear not to be sensitive but indicate the hackers had been into the Senate’s computer network. “We don’t like the US government very much,” Lulz Security said at the top of their release. “This is a small, just-for-kicks release of some internal data from Senate.gov - is this an act of war, gentlemen? Problem?”
The comment refers to reports that the US military had decided that it could respond to cyber attacks from foreign countries with traditional military force.
“Although this intrusion is inconvenient, it does not compromise the security of the Senate’s network, its members or staff,” Bradford said in a statement. “Specifically, there is no individual user account information on the server supporting senate.gov that could have been compromised.”
The hack is the latest in a series of cyber hacks against companies and organisations.
The International Monetary Fund has been hit, as have Lockheed Martin Corp, Citigroup Inc, Google and Michaels Stores.
Lulz has claimed hacks into websites owned by Sony and has also claimed responsibility for defacing the US Public Broadcasting Service network websites, and for posting on Monday data from PBS servers to protest a “Front Line” documentary about WikiLeaks.
Lulz claimed credit for breaking into a Fox.com website and publishing data about contestants for the upcoming Fox TV talent show, “X Factor.” Fox is a unit of News Corp. Another loosely affiliated hacking group, Anonymous, gained prominence when it temporarily crippled the websites of MasterCard, Visa and PayPal after they cut off financial services to WikiLeaks. It has also attacked websites in Syria, Tunisia, Egypt and India for political reasons.