Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

CIA Web Site Goes Down; LulzSec Takes Credit

Continuing its campaign of alternating between harassing gaming companies and branches of U.S. government with apparent impunity, the LulzSec gang today appeared to have landed its biggest fish yet: The Central Intelligence Agency.

In a tweet published moments ago, the group said that service at the CIA’s Web site at was disrupted. “Tango down,” the group wrote. “For the Lulz.” The site was unavailable as of a few minutes ago, the apparent victim of a denial of service attack.

Tango down – – for the lulz.
The Lulz Boat

Chances are no one is laughing at CIA HQ in Langley, Virginia. The site is for all intents and purposes the public face of the agency, so it’s not likely that any classified information is being taken or any sensitive communications disrupted, but attacking government Web sites is a federal crime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and probably some other laws I’m not thinking of. Having already demonstrated that it had penetrated the servers of the U.S. Senate’s Web site, I’m assuming that LulzSec is already deep within that territory, knows it, and is wantonly demonstrating that it doesn’t care.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik