Hackers hit Indianz.Com government sites
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APRIL 30, 2000

Despite advance warnings given to Internet security experts, hackers the FBI identified as Chinese hit a number of web sites over the weekend, placing anti-American content on Indianz.Com and various government web sites.

Users who expected to see the latest Gathering of Nations news on Indianz.Com's web site on Sunday instead found a message from a group calling themselves "KillUsa Union." Draped with a Chinese flag, the "Beat down Imperialism of American!" manifesto was visible on Indianz.Com's home page for at least three hours yesterday afternoon.

Technicians at Powersurge, the Iowa service provider which hosts Indianz.Com, worked to fix the breach and said it occurred around 5:00 PM Central Standard Time. Indianz.Com was one of three Powersurge-hosted sites hit, they said, promising better security measures in the future.

Yesterday's attack was preceded by warnings from the National Infrastructure Protection Center, the FBI's cybercrime unit. Since the downing of an American spy plane by the Chinese government, American hackers have attacked a number of Chinese sites and the FBI warned of retaliation beginning April 30 and ending May 7.

Web sites for the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services were hit on Saturday with pro-Chinese content. Government technicians had the sites back to normal yesterday just as Indianz.Com fell prey to the hackers.

When reported, the FBI told Indianz.Com it was investigating all incidents of website defacements. A total number of sites which have been reported attacked wasn't available yesterday, however, and no detailed information about the FBI's investigation could be provided.

Officials at the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, whose development company owns Indianz.Com and sister site AllNative.Com, took news of the attack with stride. "We think they learned about us from an AllNative catalog one of the pilots had on board that spy plane," Lance Morgan, Chief Executive Officer of Ho-Chunk Inc., joked of the hackers. "The pilot was from a small town not far from Winnebago."

In 1999, the group "KillUsa Union" claimed responsibility for hacking into government websites after the NATO bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, on May 7. The US Embassy in China, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Interior were temporarily taken over.

Except for the front page, no other pages on Indianz.Com's server were modified. No user information was compromised.

The FBI said attacks this week coincide with major Chinese holidays and "historic" dates. May 1 is May Day; May 4 is Youth Day; and May 7 is the two-year anniversary of the embassy bombing.

You can view a copy of the hacked page at

FBI Advisory:
Increased Internet Attacks Against U.S. Web Sites and Mail Servers Possible in Early May (FBI 4/26)

Relevant Links:
National Infrastructure Protection Center -

Related Stories:
Pentagon Braces for Chinese Computer Attacks (ABCNews.Com 4/26)
Authorities Warn of China Hacking (AP 4/26)