PoizonBOx hackers leave e-envoy red-faced

Computer crackers leave their mark on numerous government Web sites, including that of e-envoy Andrew Pinder

The government has launched an investigation after a chain of UK government Web sites including one belonging to the office of the e-envoy were hacked and defaced on Tuesday by a group of computer crackers.

The sites, including the e-envoy's site for intergovernmental policy, www.govtalk.gov.uk, Scottish archive site www.nas.gov.uk, and local government sites www.wiltshire.gov.uk and www.havant.gov.uk, were defaced late on Tuesday and early Wednesday morning. A group of cybervandals calling themselves PoizonBOx replaced government information with graffiti showing a self-styled logo.

A spokeswoman for the office of the e-envoy said that an investigation had been launched. "The service providers are investigating and will make a report. We can't say anything until then."

The spokeswoman said that when launched, the site complied with security standards established by CESG (Communications Electronics Security Group) -- the government's centre for computer security. She added that the sites were expected to be back up and running by midday Wednesday.

According to Alldas, a German site that lists defaced Web sites, all the government sites were running on Microsoft's Internet Information Server (ISS) 4.0 Web hosting application.

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