Royal pain: British Royal Navy Web site hacked

Web site security attack seen motivated by mischief rather than malice

The main British Royal Navy Web site has been hacked, and the Navy is now suffering the embarrassment of having to place a notice on its site saying, "Unfortunately, the Royal Navy website is currently undergoing essential maintenance. Please visit again soon."

 The main British Royal Navy Web site has been hacked, and the Navy is now suffering the embarrassment of having to place a notice on its site saying, "Unfortunately, the Royal Navy website is currently undergoing essential maintenance. Please visit again soon."

This announcement partially covers photos on the site of British naval commandos with guns in action and even British monarch, Queen Elizabeth herself.

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According to Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley, it appears that "those behind the Web site hack have been motivated more by mischief than malice," and he notes that a Romanian hacker known as "TinKode" is claiming responsibility for the Web site break-in. The hacker also appears to have posted sensitive information about user names and administrator passwords related to the British Royal Navy Web site.

Cluley adds, "With luck, this security breach is more of an embarrassment to the Ministry of Defence than a more significant assault on a Web site presenting the public face of an important part of the armed forces."

Clueley, who has blogged about the issue, said the Royal Navy "could have found itself in a far more sinister situation if hackers had chosen to embed spyware onto the site and infect visitors' computers to steal classified information. Owners of other Web sites shouldn't be under the misapprehension that it couldn't also happen to them."

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