Pakistan Group Defaces NOAA Web Pages

WASHINGTON (07/18/2000) - Hackers calling for the United States to mediate the territorial conflict in Kashmir attacked and defaced 11 U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration World Wide Web pages over the weekend.

The cyberattacks forced NOAA to shut down its Forecast Systems Laboratory site indefinitely until security measures could be put in place, according to a spokeswoman at the laboratory. She did not elaborate on what security measures might be used or when the site might be put back online.

The group "Gforce Pakistan" said it attacked the pages because it wants to raise "global awareness" about the conflict over the territorial rights to Kashmir. India and Pakistan both claim Kashmir and have fought several wars over the territory.

The group asked the United States to step in and help resolve the conflict. The hackers posted various messages on the government pages, including photos of children allegedly killed during the struggle over Kashmir.

It is not clear why Gforce Pakistan chose to deface the NOAA pages. "Obviously they have a message, but it could be that they want to hit high-profile sites and were looking for ones to put their message on, or they wanted to get out their message and these were just the sites they found that were open," said B.K. DeLong, a member of the Attrition.org staff. Attrition.org posted the hacks on its site at www.attrition.org/mirror/attrition/gov.html.

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