Pro-china group hacks into US government Web sites

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Pro-china group hacks into US government Web sites

Two US government Web sites were hacked over the weekend, with at least one of the hackers posting a photo of Chinese pilot Wang Wei, who was killed when his plane collided with a US spy plane in early April.

Web sites belonging to the US Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services (HHS) were defaced on Saturday 29 April, although both sites were back to normal operations shortly thereafter. Two Health and Human Services Web sites, Health.gov and Surgeongeneral.gov were attacked, with Health.gov defaced to include the photo of Wang Wei and the Surgeon General's site crashed outright, according to Bill Hall, an HHS spokesman.

Although Hall declined to speculate on the motives or the individuals responsible for the hacks, he did say that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is looking into the matter and that neither site lost any data.

The Department of Labor's site was hacked by a seemingly pro-China group. A message left on the site, signed by the "Honker Union of China," said that the group, "Maintains the reunification of the motherland! Guards the national sovereignty! Outside consistent resistance shame! Attack anti-Chinese arrogance!" Although the Department of Labor did not return repeated calls requesting comment, the Associated Press reported details of the defacement and Attrition.org is hosting a mirror of the hacked site.

The defacements come only a few days after the US National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) issued a warning to US government agencies and businesses saying that Chinese hackers might undertake a campaign of hacking in response to the death of Wang Wei. According to the NIPC, the hacks might take place between 30 April and 7 May, incorporating May Day (1 May), Youth Day (4 May) and the anniversary of the US bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (7 May).

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