U.S. government online security website hacked

The hackers threatened further retaliation if controversial legislation is passed in the U.S.

Hackers under the AntiSec banner appeared to have hacked late Monday the website of OnGuardOnline.gov, the U.S. federal government's online security website, in protest against controversial legislation.

In a message on the OnGuardOnline website and on Pastebin, the hackers threatened "a relentless war against the corporate internet", destroying what it said would be "dozens upon dozens" of government and company websites, if the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), Protect IP Act (PIPA) and Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) are passed.

It also threatened to dump emails, passwords, bank accounts, and other information from the hacked websites. "We are sitting on hundreds of rooted servers getting ready to drop all your mysql dumps and mail spools," the Anonymous-affiliated hacker group said.

OnGuardOnline.gov is a partnership of 14 federal agencies managed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC confirmed Tuesday that OnGuardOnline.gov had been hacked and said it takes the malicious act seriously. "The site has been taken down and will be brought back up when we're satisfied that any vulnerability has been addressed," the FTC said in a statement.

The website of Web defacement archive, Zone-H was also defaced Monday, but it wasn't clear who was responsible.

Earlier on Monday a video purported to be from Anonymous asked for people's support to launch a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack using the Low Orbit Ion Cannon tool on Jan 28 on Facebook. AnonOps, an Anonymous account on Twitter, however said the threat to shut down Facebook was a fake. A similar threat against Facebook was made last year.

Anonymous last week claimed responsibility for attacks on some government and company websites including those of Universal Music, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Recording Industry Association of America in retaliation for the government's removal of the Megaupload online storage and file-sharing websites.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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