Cern's LHC hit with the same CERN technology by Greek hackers15/09/2008 Written by SyS64738 (Roberto Preatoni)
The phantomatic Higgs boson still has no face, as the Cern’s LHC (Large Hadron Collider) didn’t produce yet the planned protons collisions. Meanwhile Cern’s website lost his own face, due to a Greek group of defacers called GST (Greek Security Team).
The defacers left a homepage message in Greek language. While when we learned about the CERN defacement everybody here was thinking about a politically, ethically or scientifically motivated attack, once translated, the message left by the defacers embraces the usual topics so much loved by true script kiddies: we are the best, you are the worst, we are leet, you are lame, we are 2600 (I wonder if these guys actually know what 2600 means in the hacker world…), irc wars.… blah blah blah.
The defacement itself isn’t that interesting, they probably compromised a CMS bug. What is interesting instead is how it happened and what it involved at network level as UK’s Telegraph reports:
“Scientists working at Cern, the organisation that runs the vast smasher, were worried about what the hackers could do because they were “one step away” from the computer control system of one of the huge detectors of the machine, a vast magnet that weighs 12,500 tons, measuring around 21 metres in length and 15 metres wide/high.
If they had hacked into a second computer network, they could have turned off parts of the vast detector and, said the insider, “it is hard enough to make these things work if no one is messing with it.”
Fortunately, only one file was damaged but one of the scientists firing off emails as the CMS team fought off the hackers said it was a “scary experience”.
We guess the damaged file being the index.html of the Cern homepage, no big deal but the “insider“‘s big mouth gives us a snippet of the large drama Cern’s scientists had lived once they got to know that the hackers were really close to critical LHC network components.
We really hope that the Telegraph informer was just high on the hype when released such statement, as we REFUSE to believe that the Cern’s guys weren’t wise enough to separate the webserver from those network segments managing critical infrastructures such the LHC. If they didn’t separate them, then the human race really deserves to disappear swallowed by a self produced black hole.
One colorful note: Cern was attacked through the www, the same technology they invented a few decades ago…
What a wonderful tool for asymmetric warfare the Internet is…
PS: shouldn’t the CERN’s CMS developer wiki be CLOSED to public access? Sure we all love sharing information, but isn’t THAT a little bit too much of information disclosure?
The defaced Cern web-page