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Home » Hacking News » Hackers attack SA websites 'just for fun'

Hackers attack SA websites 'just for fun'

by Nikola Strahija on November 28th, 2002 A South African digital security company has successfully traced a group of young Brazilian computer hackers who have defaced websites for the past month – purely for fun and to "punish" webmasters they consider sleepy.

And the experts are warning companies to be on the alert since the "cyber terrorists" live in a country where it is not illegal to hack.

Hackers tap into specific websites and alter or add information on the site, even redirecting the net surfer to a completely different topic or site.

Justin Stanford, of 4D Digital Security, on Tuesday outlined how he managed to trace the Brazilian "criminals".

Stanford said he made contact with the group, called r00t3rs, through a Brazilian internet chat room over the weekend.

"I have been able to establish that the entire group is Brazilian.

"They communicate fluently in Spanish, but two of them are able to speak good English and are high school pupils.

"The hackers in the group that were present were Master_ghost, d4rk4rk, c0d3r3d and a few others who have left their names on hacked sites," Stanford explained.

He said the hackers attacked globally, by performing automated searches using scanning software to locate vulnerable machines on the Internet, before hacking into them "as they please".

"This technique is by no means new or startling and is how many similar groups operate," Stanford said. "This means that no unsecured machine is safe, no matter where it is in the world or how insignificant it may be."

The hackers told Stanford they hacked purely for fun and to "punish" administrators who were not security-conscious.

They did not target specific sites, but performed mass-scans of Internet domain ranges in search of hackable servers before "attacking" them.

"Their motives are merely entertainment. They do not seem concerned about what they are doing, or any legalities that may be involved," Stanford said.

Reinhardt Buys from Buys Attorneys, who specialise in Internet and e-commerce law, said Brazil seemed to be the new breeding ground for young hackers, who "can download hacking tools from the Internet and freely hack into web sites all over the world".

There was "no way of stopping hackers", he added, especially as they were operating from a country where hacking is not illegal.

Hacking is illegal in South Africa and hackers can go to jail for five years in terms of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act.

"Companies are advised to take preventive steps by putting the necessary security measures in place," said Buys.

The South African sites most recently hacked into by the Brazilian group are:

- This article was originally published in -

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