Hackers hit local sites
Date: January 09, 2004
Cape Town - More than 45 local websites have been defaced in less than five hours, according to IT legal specialist Reinhardt Buys.
On Thursday a hacker group referring to itself as "Spykids" hacked into websites located in Cape Town and Stellenbosch. The hackers removed the content from the sites' homepages and replaced it with their logo and the address of an apparent internet chat room used by the group:
Canal : #SpyKids
"The fact that all the websites are located in the Western Cape seems to indicate that the hackers broke into a single server and therefore had access to all the websites hosted on that server" says Buys of IT law firm Buys Inc Attorneys. "Our domain name ownership searches of the hacked sites all pointed to a Stellenbosch internet service provider".
All the defaced websites ran on a Win 2000 operating system, an IIS 5.0 web server. The attacks stared at 07:44 and ended at about 11:19.
At 21:51 a hacker group referred to as Infektion Group broke into a local Apache server and defaced the website www.african-elephant-tours.co.za. The site was running on a Solaris operating system from IP address 22.214.171.124.
"Although hacking is a criminal offence in terms of the ECT Act, actually tracing the attackers and bringing them to justice in South Africa is easier said than done," explains Buys.
"The trend in the USA is that owners of defaced websites rather claim their losses from their internet service providers who hosted the websites and should have provided proper protections again hack attacks. Although a successful hack may result in financial harm, it is usually a business' reputation that suffers".
The most sites hacked in South Africa during one 24-hour period is 105 during May 2003.
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