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Teens claim they hacked Indian nuclear research center


Vow to take on Pakistan's computers next

June 5, 1998
Web posted at: 8:06 p.m. EDT (0006 GMT)

From Correspondent Don Knapp

SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- A group of teen-agers say they hacked their way into the computer system at India's Bhabha Atomic Research Center in Mumbai, obtaining access to thousands of e-mail messages exchanged by scientists and leaving behind an anti-nuclear message on the center's home page.

The teens, who say they launched their attack from England and New Zealand, bragged about their exploits to several Internet news organizations, including There was no way to independently confirm the claims, and a spokesperson for the Indian government told CNN that it "had absolutely no information on this."

In an online interview with the hackers, conducted for CNN with the help of James Glave of, one explained why they attacked the Indian computer system:

"All we were saying is that their security is poor, and if you're going to put classified and dangerous information on a machine, you should at least try to secure it," the hacker wrote.

It isn't clear just how far the hackers may have gotten into the Indian nuclear center computer, or if the e-mail they obtained actually referred to India's recent underground nuclear tests. They bragged that it took them less than 14 minutes to work their way inside the system.

According to Anti-On-Line, another Internet service provider, the hackers got into the Indian nuclear system via servers operated by NASA, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army.

The hackers have vowed to continue to menace India's computers for a week -- and then target the computers of its nuclear rival, Pakistan.

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