US, Chinese hackers continue Web defacements

Attrition.org, a nonprofit security site which hosts mirrors of defaced Web pages for research purposes, has mirrors of dozens of pages that have been cracked by both US and Chinese hackers in the past two days. Among them are a number of US government and military sites, including the US Geological Survey, Eastern Region, the Hurricane Liaison Team of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the headquarters of the commander of the Naval Surface Force of the US Atlantic Fleet.

These sites, and a number of others, have been altered to include anti-American, pro-China messages, such "Beat down Imperialism of America." A number of sites bear the standard message from the "Honkers Union of China," who hacked into the US Department of Labor's Web site over the weekend. Government sites are not the only ones to be hit, however, as a number of private sector Web sites were also defaced.

A number of other sites, including some associated with the Department of Energy and United Press International, were hit, according to a report in Tuesday's Los Angeles Times.

Over the weekend, a handful of US government sites were hacked, including the US Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services' Health.gov and Surgeongeneral.gov.

Hacks by Chinese groups were expected after the US National Infrastructure Protection Center issued a statement last week warning of just such an event. What was, perhaps, less expected was that US hackers would retaliate in kind. A number of Chinese sites, mostly private firms, rather than government sites, have been defaced, according to Attrition's listing.

The defacements indicate that the hacks are in response to Chinese hacks of US sites, and exhort US hackers to work together to hack Chinese sites. One group, called "Project China," promises a coordinated group of hackers will attack Chinese sites over the next two weeks.

Chinese pilot Wang Wei was killed in early April when his plane collided with a US spy plane off the coast of China. The collision touched off a weeks-long international incident that ended with the US flight crew being returned to America.