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Hackers react to FBI crackdown by invading Senate Web site


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    May 27, 1999
    Web posted at: 11:04 p.m. EDT (0304 GMT)

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Computer hackers reacted to an FBI crackdown by launching cyber assaults Thursday on government Web sites, including the one belonging to the U.S. Senate.

    People calling up the Senate Web site on Thursday were redirected to one belonging to the hackers. Posted on the site under the hackers' logo was the question: "Who laughs last?"

    The cyber intruders wrote that their Internet invasion of the legislative site was a way for them to thumb their noses at the FBI.

    Federal agents earlier this week executed search warrants on suspected hackers' homes in Dallas, Houston and other locations. FBI sources did not specify if anyone was arrested, but said they believe word of the raids quickly spread in the computer community.

    That attempt to crack down on computer hackers preceded a seemingly coordinated cyber attack that overloaded the FBI's own Web site, forcing the agency to shut down the site, officials said Thursday.

    Senate web site
    The hackers left a message on the U.S. Senate Web site  

    FBI officials said their site was besieged with computer hits by scores of computer users who were apparently outraged over the raids.

    No virus was planted in the FBI site, but the sheer number of hits overloaded the system, said FBI spokesman Frank Scafidi, who described the incident as a "denial of service attack."

    He said the system has been shut down temporarily so additional firewalls can be erected to protect it. It was unclear when the site would be back up.

    The FBI's site contains general information about the agency and does not house sensitive information.

    Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas contributed to this report.

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