War of the Worlds Web site hacked

The Web site of Steven Spielberg's summer film has been defaced by Brazilian hackers who appear to have exploited a vulnerability in an Apache Web server
Written by Dan Ilett, Contributor

A Brazilian hacker has defaced the Web site of Steven Spielberg's film version of HG Wells' novel War of the Worlds, which is set to be released in cinemas this summer.

According to a report on Zone-H, a Web site that reports hacking defacements, the hacker broke into the Paramount Pictures-owned Web site on Sunday and replaced it with his own graphics. The content, including a trailer for the movie featuring Tom Cruise, was replaced by black-and-white graphics and a message from the hacker.

The defacer, nicknamed un-root, hacked the Linux system through a vulnerability in an Apache Web server.

"That is embarrassing for them," said Jason Hart, director of security for WhiteHat UK. "If you look at Zone-H, there are a lot of hackers coming out of Brazil. It may be the increase in broadband or wireless access points. But there are certainly more."

Hart added that poorly patched servers were often the cause of many defacements.

"I think they are bit people are becoming more relaxed about security," Hart said. "It's about basic steps -- just keep testing and have simple security frameworks. People think you need sophisticated answers, but you don't. Just make sure you have patch management."

The site had been restored by Monday lunchtime. Paramount Pictures was unable to comment on the incident at the time of writing.

Last year Brazilian federal police arrested 53 suspects on charges of stealing £45m from online banking customers. Security experts have said that Brazil is a hacking hot spot of the world.

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