The website for the United States Senate is the latest venue infiltrated by LulzSec, a group of hackers that have attacked several high-profile websites in just the last few weeks alone.
In a tweet from the group’s Twitter account on Monday afternoon, a representative for LulzSec posted a link to the data it claims it had lifted from Senate.gov, as well as the website for Bethesda Softworks. The text-based listing of the material LulzSec claims to have compromised from the Senate’s site is prefaced with a light-hearted message in which the group, believed to be a splinter of the mysterious hacking community Anonymous, says, “We don't like the US government very much.”
The message goes on to boast about the lack of security protecting the Senate’s site and adds that “In an attempt to help them fix their issues, we've decided to donate additional lulz in the form of owning them some more!”
The group’s name is a conglomeration of “Lulz,” a derivative of the Internet acronym “LOL” for “laugh out loud,” and an abbreviation for security.
The data is also posted with a warning form LulzSec reading: "This is a small, just-for-kicks release of some internal data from Senate.gov – is this an act of war, gentlemen?"
On Monday evening, Bloomberg reported that Martina Bradford, deputy sergeant-at-arms of the US Senate, said the body’s IT security staff became aware of access to the server over the weekend but claims that no critical information was compromised. “The intruder did not gain access into the Senate computer network and was only able to read and determine the directory structure of the file placed on senate.gov,” Bradford said.
This information could, however, pave the way for other hackers to infiltrate the Senate’s server, especially now that it has been publicized that what should be the Fort Knox of the Internet can be entered and accessed by outsiders.
Bethesda Softworks has confirmed that their site was indeed hacked, and LulzSec has stated that the exploitation was so thorough that it has access to almost all of the game developer’s network.The hackers have decided not to release user data for 200,000 accounts for a Bethesda game, however, saying in a statement that "We actually like this company. . .So we'll give them one less thing to worry about."
Other targets of the group in recent weeks have included PBS and Sony.
This attack comes mere hours after fellow hackers Anonymous released a YouTube video stating a call for action for protestors to rally against Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke across the nation on Tuesday. Demonstrators are gathering in nearly two-dozen cities across the US and enacting in displays of civil disobedience until, as the group says, Bernanke steps down from the FED.