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Home » Hacking News » Hacked EU Site Back Online, But Attack Continues

Hacked EU Site Back Online, But Attack Continues

by platon on June 25th, 2001 SaferInternet.org, the European Union-sponsored Web site that was yanked off the Web last week after being hacked twice, is now back online. But it is still being targeted for attack.


“The minute the site went back online (Thursday), the log files (were) showing attempts at attack," said Tara Morris, project manager for the site. "We are under sustained attack."



Furthermore, the Web site, which is managed for the EU by Ecotec Research and Consulting Ltd. of Birmingham, England (http://www.ecotec.co.uk), still is not running at 100 percent.



Morris, an Ecotec consultant based in Brussels, said the site had been pulled from its home server in the U.K. and switched to a more secure server hosted by KPN Belgium, a subsidiary of the Dutch telecom firm KPN. The Web site will be moved back to the home server only when strict security precautions are in place, he said.



Currently, several of the Web site's functions are not operating, such as the chat forum, search function and the online registration to subscribe to the site's newsletter, according to Morris.



SaferInternet.org's mission has nothing to do with Web site security or hacking, but was created to promote safer use of the Internet and to help eradicate illegal and harmful Internet content.



Morris believes hackers probably misunderstood the mission of the site and specifically picked the site as a target to taunt the EU. The first attack came June 6, the day after the EU announced proposals to increase the level of Internet and communications security in Europe. Morris believes there is a connection.



The next attack came June 12, with hackers defiantly defacing the Web site, writing on the home page: "This is our world! We are god and we make the rulezzzz. Happy finding us! The Netherlands is the place!"



The hackers were able to retrieve names and e-mail addresses on a distribution list.



A spokesman for the European Commission – the EU's executive body – told Newsbytes last week that the commission was reviewing whether Ecotec was doing an adequate job managing the Web site.



When Morris was asked today whether he had heard much criticism from people who had signed up for the distribution list, he said he heard “mainly from the European Commission."



Ecotec operates about 16 Web sites for the EU. Those sites also had been shut down after the attacks on SaferInternet.org as a precaution.



"Obviously, we are reviewing security procedures all across the board," Morris said. “What we had in place was not adequate. In the future, it will be much more secure."



SaferInternet.org is online at http://www.saferinternet.org





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