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IDC Web site defaced by 'eco-terrorists'

The Web site of Global IT research firm IDC has been hacked by a group purporting to be Brazilian environmental terrorists to serve a message urging people to take action over global warming.

The Web site of IT research firm IDC Australia has been hacked by a group purporting to be Brazilian environmental terrorists.

A page created to present new research to media and analysts had been serving content created by a group calling itself the "RitualistaS Group".

"Breve [sic] New World!" the page said, above an image of a semi-molten earth nested between icons of global warming, including smoke stacks, nuclear plant cooling towers and burning forests.

Hackers going by the names of "s3r14l k1ll3r" [Serial Killer], "lc3 Br34k" [Ice Break] and "Mental_Way" have laid claim to the attack.

The hackers' message -- presumably to the press -- is in the form of a brief poem, which urges readers to recognise the earth is under extreme pressure, which they liken to a pressure cooker, that is of mankind's making.

"This is the reality, the reality you created AND DOES [sic] NOTHING TO CHANGE!" the poem concludes.

IDC shut down the page immediately after being contacted by ZDNet Australia.

Graeme Muller, managing director of IDC told ZDNet Australia: "[The page] was hacked but it's an old page."

"We're in the process of having our Web content more centralised but we still have a number of shell pages out there," he said. "It's an interesting thing to happen and one of those things you never think is going to hit you, but you get splashed by a puddle and realise how close it was."

IDC Australia's Web site servers are isolated from its customer database, said Muller. "The worst you can do is to make us look silly," he said, adding that the experience was a "very interesting learning curve."

"If you don't need [an unused Web page], don't leave it lying around because it could leave you exposed through a backdoor," he said as a warning to other businesses.

Security analyst Chris Gatford, from security firm Pure Hacking, told ZDNet Australia the hackers had found a flaw in IDC's Web site, allowing them to modify the site's ASP.NET code -- the language used to write code for Web applications using Microsoft's .NET platform -- to include a link to image and sound files which override the content that would normally appear.

"The image file is stored off a free image hosting service and [the page] links to a MP3 file, which is particularly annoying," said Gatford.

The source of the image is a free US-based image hosting service called "Imageshack" while the source of the MP3 file has been traced to the once-popular free Web-hosting service, Lycos.

IDC's own research has revealed that 70 percent of respondents are not confident in their organisation's security, while the main challenges in battling security threats are due to budget constraints, the increasing volume and sophistication of attacks, and a lack of skilled staff.

Screenshot of the hacked IDC page

Screenshot of the hacked IDC page.