Microsoft's UK Web site, along with two more international outposts, were hacked and defaced last night, leaving the software giant scrambling to find the cause of the break-ins.
The three international sites, in the UK, Mexico and Saudi Arabia, were all defaced last night by a hacking group calling itself Prime Suspetz. Microsoft has been quick to distance itself from the attacks, however, and says that all three sites are outsourced to another company. A UK spokesman this morning refused to name the company. The spokesman also gave reassurances that the sites are not connected to Microsoft's corporate network meaning that crucial information, including customer information, could not have been compromised.
Nevertheless Microsoft is rushing to discover precisely how the crackers managed to gain access to its Web servers. "We're talking to the site owners at the moment to see what the cause was," said the spokesman.
The sites -- http://www.microsoft.co.uk/, http://www.microsoft.com.mx, http://www.microsoft.com.sa -- all run on Microsoft's own Web server product IIS 5.0, adding extra embarrassment to the incident.
The attacks also coincide with the release of a tool designed to exploit a widespread flaw in IIS running on Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system and make it relatively trivial to take control of a Web site.
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