The public website of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) went down on Wednesday evening as the hacker group Lulz Security said it had launched an attack. Lulz Security had claimed responsibility for recent attacks on the US Senate, Sony, News Corp and the US Public Broadcasting System television network.

The CIA site initially could not be accessed from New York to San Francisco and Bangalore to London. Later in the evening, service was sporadic. “We are looking into these reports,” said a CIA spokeswoman. Lulz Security has defaced websites, posted personal information about customers and site administrators and disclosed the network configurations of some sites. Security analysts have downplayed the significance of these attacks, saying the hackers are just looking to show off and get as much attention as possible. In the case of the CIA attack, hackers would not be able to access sensitive data by breaking into the agency’s public website, said Jeffrey Carr, author of the book Inside Cyber Warfare: Mapping the Cyber Underworld. “All they’re doing is saying ‘Look how good we are,’” said Carr. “These guys are literally in it for embarrassment, to say ‘your security is crap”’

Lulz only made claims that it attacked, and there was no evidence on Wednesday evening that sensitive data in the agency’s internal computer network had been compromised. There were no apparent links to more serious network security breaches recently at the IMF Fund and Lockheed Martin. Lulz Security has not been linked to those incidents.

Lulz, whose members are strewn across the globe, announced the attack around 6 pm East Coast time. “Tango down,” the group Tweeted, pointing to Although the group, also known as Lulz Boat, fashions itself more as pranksters and activists than people with sinister intent, its members have been accused of breaking the law and are wanted by the FBI.Lulz broke into a public website of the US Senate over the weekend and released data stolen from the legislative body’s computer servers. — Reuters

360k Citegroup Accounts were Hacked in May

Citigroup said a cyber attack in may affeceted almost twice as many account as the bank’s figures had initially suggested.A total of 360.083 North American citigroup credit card accounts were affected by the breach, the third-largest UsS bank by assests said in a statement. of thous affecte, some 217,657 customers were reissued with new cards while the remaining accounts werw either inactive or had already received new cards earlier. citigroup had earlier said about 1% of its North American accounts were affected – Reuters

Taken From “The Economic Times” 17 June 2011