Monday, May 09, 2005


This is one of the main reasons that I am not posting my rants about the bush admin any longer.. the wackos have been sending hate mail.

Web site rebuilding after hacker attack
Politically motivated vandal shut down online media center

By David Montero, Rocky Mountain News
May 9, 2005

A local Web site dedicated to posting news and views remained down Sunday, nine days after a politically motivated hacker replaced its home page with a rant against those who oppose President Bush and the war in Iraq.

The Colorado Independent Media Center posted an informational letter on its site April 29 explaining what happened. The site also posted a link to the hacker's message.

"You have lied to the American People over and over again," the hacker's message read, in part. "Imperialism is non-existent. Our soldiers are dying over sees (sic) to give men, women, and children a taste of freedom and you call them imperialists. You are nothing but pigs. You are not against Bush, you are against Republicans."

The letter, which was signed, "Defaced by Clorox," offered links to two other Web sites.

The Colorado Independent Media Center is part of a loose-knit Internet group called the Indy Media Web sites, which are located throughout the U.S. The Colorado-based version posted a variety of locally generated stories, including some about the controversy surrounding University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill.

Tony Shawcross, a volunteer who has helped keep the site updated for three years, said the site is nonpartisan and doesn't espouse any particular political view.

"I don't really understand it because it's supposed to be an open media forum," Shawcross said of the hacker's message. "They -could've written that and posted it on our site."

Several other Indy Media groups had their sites hacked as well, including ones in Atlanta and Texas. The Atlanta group has since been directing its traffic to another alternative Web site while the home page is repaired.

Although he believes he knows who is responsible for defacing the site, Shawcross said he isn't looking into getting law enforcement involved.

"I don't discourage anyone from going down that path," he said. "But I'd rather just focus on rebuilding the site."

But the tactic of not pursuing legal action simply doesn't make sense to Roch Smith.

Smith's site,, based in North Carolina, was hacked April 28 by someone with self-described Republican leanings. Smith said he had no qualms about seeking assistance from the FBI, even though he has received e-mail from others who worry that the FBI won't treat the organization fairly because of their leftist leanings.

"Law enforcement isn't for Republicans only. It's a crime. This is America, and we have laws that should be enforced," he said. "In my opinion, if they continue to have a childish view of law enforcement and the FBI, then they'll continue to leave themselves vulnerable to attacks."

Although FBI Special Agent Leslie Kopper said she couldn't discuss particular cases, she said her agency doesn't have to be asked to investigate a crime.

"The FBI investigates any crime that falls within our jurisdiction completely and thoroughly," Kopper said.

George Kurtz, a senior vice president for risk management at the computer security firm McAfee, said that in his years of experience of battling hackers, unless large amount of money are lost, law enforcement isn't likely to aggressively pursue the defacement of a Web site.

Kurtz said Internet sites such as the Colorado Independent Media Center can be compromised easily. He said it is far more important for Web sites to patch up vulnerabilities than to go after the hackers through law enforcement.

Shawcross said the volunteers at the Web site are working to protect their site now.

"It could be turn out to be a good thing for our site if it galvanizes people to help us," Shawcross said.