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Hackers vandalize CIA home page

No security breach of private files, agency says

CIA home page after being hacked

September 19, 1996
Web posted at: 10:00 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT)

In this story:

By Wayne B. Drash and Jim B. Morris

ATLANTA (CNN) -- Hackers broke into the CIA's World Wide Web home page ( Thursday morning, altered it, added obscenities and changed the agency's name on the page to the "Central Stupidity Agency."

The CIA, which took down the site shortly after 7:30 a.m. EDT, said the hackers did not gain access to the agency's private files. "This (the publicly available CIA Web site) is on an entirely different circuit from everyone else at the CIA," agency spokesman Rick Oborn told CNN.

He said the CIA did not know who was responsible for the hacking or when the page would be restored. "A team is being pulled together to assess how many layers (of the site) were affected and how we can get it back on line," Oborn said.

Anonymous call

An anonymous phone caller tipped CNN Interactive to the break-in, saying Swedish hackers were responsible.

The phone call was received about 5:45 a.m. EDT. When asked what the hackers had done to the page, the man said, "I think you should just take a look at it."

He then hung up without further comment. He did not leave his name or identify a specific group.

Obscenity-laced message

The hacked site greeted Internet surfers with: "Welcome to the Central Stupidity Agency," followed by the statement, "STOP LYING BO SKARINDER!!!" Underneath, the same phrase was repeated in Swedish: "SLUTA LJUG BO SKARINDER!!!"

Skarinder is the lead attorney in a court case in which several telecommunications companies, including the Swedish conglomerate Telia, have pressed charges against hackers. Further details about why the hackers accused him of lying were not immediately available.

Below the hackers' greeting, several links were provided to various Internet sites, including Playboy,, Flashback Magazine and protocols from The Swedish Hackers Association.

Lower on the page, the hackers, calling themselves "Power Through Resistance," left an obscenity-laced message. Oborn, the CIA spokesman, said he was unfamiliar with Skarinder, Power Through Resistance or the Swedish Hackers Association.

Previous break-ins

Internet break-ins have become an increasing concern for U.S. defense and intelligence agencies. Last month, hackers broke into the Justice Department's Web site, adding swastikas, obscenities and a picture of Adolf Hitler to the page.

Justice officials quickly pulled the plug on the vandalized page and assured that the hackers did not gain access to criminal files.


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