Two days into what was supposed to be a 'cyberwar' launched by Chinese hackers in retaliation for the death of Chinese pilot Wang Wei, a number of U.S. government Web sites have been defaced, but groups of U.S. hackers have entered the picture as well, hacking Chinese sites.
Attrition.org, a nonprofit security site which hosts mirrors of defaced Web pages for research purposes, has mirrors of dozens of pages that have been cracked by both U.S. and Chinese hackers in the past two days. Among them are a number of U.S. government and military sites, including the U.S. Geological Survey, Eastern Region, the Hurricane Liaison Team of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the headquarters of the commander of the Naval Surface Force of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.
These sites, and a number of others, have been altered to include anti-American, pro-China messages, such "Beat down Imperialism of America." A number of sites bear the standard message from the "Honkers Union of China," who hacked into the U.S. Department of Labor's Web site over the weekend. Government sites are not the only ones to be hit, however, as a number of private sector Web sites were also defaced.
A number of other sites, including some associated with the Department of Energy and United Press International, were hit, according to a report in Tuesday's Los Angeles Times.
Over the weekend, a handful of U.S. government sites were hacked, including the U.S. Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services' Health.gov and Surgeongeneral.gov.
Hacks by Chinese groups were expected after the U.S. National Infrastructure Protection Center issued a statement last week warning of just such an event . What was, perhaps, less expected was that U.S. hackers would retaliate in kind. A number of Chinese sites, mostly private firms, rather than government sites, have been defaced, according to Attrition's listing.
The defacements indicate that the hacks are in response to Chinese hacks of U.S. sites, and exhort U.S. hackers to work together to hack Chinese sites. One group, called "Project China," promises a coordinated group of hackers will attack Chinese sites over the next two weeks.
Chinese pilot Wang Wei was killed in early April when his plane collided with a U.S. spy plane off the coast of China. The collision touched off a weeks-long international incident that ended with the U.S. flight crew being returned to America.