Bushwhacked! - hacker defaces US Republican site

The defacement replaced the front page of http://www.gop.org/ with the hacker's monologue around midnight Monday, the night before the election, said Larry Purpuro, deputy chief of staff for the Republican National Committee. "We actually spotted the incident almost instantaneously," he said. "We took it down, and would have fixed it immediately, but given the timing we were, frankly, doubly concerned about doing things right."

Administrators returned the site to activity near noon Tuesday, he said. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident, and Purpuro would not speculate on the identity of the attacker.

The unnamed hacker disavowed a connection to a political party or group and identified himself only tangentially, implying he was a white male who "seem[s] to be the very same thing as all the other swine who run this country."

"Gore isn't the best of men, but I refuse to be stuck in the same arrested adolesence [sic] as all of America's luxury classed celebrities, who presume that you can only vote for a candidate if his views tally 100% with your own," he wrote. "That is the folly of the spoiled." He went on to attack Bush as an elitist who "would make a great president for those states which traffic not so much in deceny [sic] but bigotry."

With references to Jefferson's acquisition of the Louisiana Purchase and the "Aesopian desire" for white men to keep power, the writing seems to point to an older, better educated (if grammatically uninspired) class of hacker than the "script-kiddies" using pre-fabricated tools to break into Web sites to leave virtual graffiti.

Purpuro put the incident in the same category as other recent events of "hacktivism" -- the use of computer hacking to spread a political message. "Given the hack attacks at the Israeli Defense Force's site, and Yahoo, and the Pentagon, we expected to be the subject of net terrorism," he said. "It's the important sites that are getting attacked. We actually consider it a badge of honour. We hope, with some of the major [news] sites raising this issue, we actually hope to improve our viewership. In the end this could work for us."

The RNC Web site is http://www.gop.org/. A mirror site with the hackers text has been preserved at http://www.attrition.org/mirror/attrition/2000/11/06/www.gop.org/.

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