Home & Office

Hackers target BT over ADSL delays

An exasperated hacker has broken into BT's Web servers to protest the slow rollout of ADSL
Written by Will Knight, Contributor on

BT's Web servers were defaced at the weekend by a computer hacker angry at the delayed rollout of ADSL across the UK.

The hacker posted a message to BT's public Web site begging to know when ADSL will made available throughout the UK.

BT's prominent Internet search page http://search.bt.com was defaced by an enraged message from the hacker, going under the name of Rubix. It read: "When will ADSL be available? It's been ages now, just gimme a date when it'll be ready why don't ya. *sigh*. Always Delayed Slightly Longer".

A spokeswoman for BT said engineers are investigating the company's security infrastructure following the breach. "The bottom line is we were hacked," she said. "We were the subject of a server-side break in."

This spokeswoman said security at BT's Web servers fell foul of a well known vulnerability in the operating system hosting the Web site, Microsoft Windows 2000. She said that the vulnerability has now been patched.

The spokeswoman also said that the culprit did not gain access to customer information during the break-in. "No-one could see customer records or billing details," she said.

The rollout of ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) technology across Britain has been beset by problems. BT, the UK's incumbent provider of telecommunications infrastructure, is accused of not supplying enough engineers to do the job and of putting itself before competing service providers in the allocation of connections.

In a separate incident, a Web site belonging to a Nato military base in Northwood in the UK was also compromised by computer crackers who claimed in a message posted to http://www.eastlant.nato.int/ "We have stole all your secrets and are now going to sell it. *cough* *cough* hehe, got yah! Have a good April Fool's Day. Btw do you have anything to tell us about computer security?".

Take me to the Virus Workshop

The discovery that yet another flaw exists in Microsoft's Internet Explorer, and that Microsoft has had to issue a patch for it, shouldn't be a surprising one. Guy Kewney says -- there's no such thing as a perfect program. Go to AnchorDesk UK for the news comment.

Have your say instantly, and see what others have said. Click on the TalkBack button and go to the Security forum.

Let the editors know what you think in the Mailroom. And read what others have said.

Editorial standards