Hackers deface US Senate, challenge FBI

The virtual guerilla war between hackers and the U.S. government intensified Thursday, with senate.gov becoming the latest federal site to suffer a hack attack.

A group calling itself MAST3RZ 0F D0WNL0ADING (M0D) vandalised the official U.S. Senate site late Thursday, replacing the front page with a blunt message to the FBI -- "FBI vs. M0D in '99, BR1NG IT 0N!"

The hacked site was quickly taken down and senate.gov is currently offline. The senate.gov hack comes hard on the heels of two other high-profile hack attacks against the FBI and President's official online home.

On Wednesday, fbi.gov was knocked offline by a hack attack shortly after the FBI served search warrants on members of hacker group Global Hell (gH). The FBI's home page is currently offline while it investigates possible computer intrusions. And, on May 12, whitehouse.gov shut down for 24 hours after it sustained a barrage of virtual assaults in protest of NATO's bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.

The senate.gov hack appears to be connected to the fbi.gov attack, at least in motivation. In its message on senate.gov, the M0D says: "The FBI may be all over the other groupz, like those gH and tK queerz ... M0D make th0se m0ronz l00k like a gr0up of special-ed st00denz [students]." The hacked page also features a picture of what appear to be four intellectually disabled children.

The FBI's gH raid inspired an hack attack on 20 other sites hosted by Hampton Internet Inc. in Quogue, N.Y.

Hampton Internet system administrator Mark Wauchope said the company's server was hacked early Wednesday and 20 of the 100 hosted sites were replaced with a banner message. According to that message, the FBI's actions have awoken a "new revolution" -- and warns the FBI to free the gH and imprisoned hacker Kevin Mitnick or "die."

CyberCrime's Luke Reiter contributed to this report.

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