Political hackers strike again

When splitting hackers into categories by their aims, experts generally use two classes – the script kiddies who use their skills to impress peers, and the more mature, financially motivated hackers who break into systems to make money.

But if incidents such as this week’s hacking of the website of the secretary general of the United Nations become more common, experts might have to add a third category: politically motivated hackers.

These are hackers who are inclined to show off their skills but ideologically motivated to do so, don't seem to be directly interested in profit.

The latest example of political hacking isn’t all that original. A hacker defaced the webpage of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon early this week to express his or her dissatisfaction with the policies of the United States and Israel, according to this SC Magazine UK report.

The malicious users, who called themselves “Gsy,” “kerem125” and “M0sted,” placed remarks on the site such as, “Hey Ysrail and Usa don’t kill children and other people Peace for ever No war.”

The site was reset on Sunday and the UN is reviewing website security procedures.

I have a hunch that we’re going to see many more attacks similar to this one, but targeting prominent figures here in the U.S., sometime before early November 2008.

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