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Tuesday, November 2, 1999 Published at 06:25 GMT

World: Americas

Hackers hammer Bush website

The alternative version of the campaign web site

Hackers have been blamed for an image of a hammer and sickle appearing on a campaign website for US presidential candidate George W Bush, briefly replacing his photo.

The embarrassing lapse in computer security came the day after the Bush campaign launched a relaunch of what it describes as an "innovative new website".

The hackers replaced a news story about the republican frontrunner on the site with a call for "a new October revolution" and a note that "the success or failure of the working class to achieve victory depends upon a revolution (of) leadership".

A campaign spokeswoman said they were considering whether to formally notify the authorities, such as the FBI.

"We have taken steps to make sure this particular problem is fixed, and we are looking at other ways to further secure the site," Mindy Tucker said.

Five minutes

She said the campaign's e-mail system and contribution records were not believed to have been compromised.

She added that their investigations found that the altered web page was accessible by the public for fewer than five minutes before a backup system kicked in and restored the original text.

The site says that its new design "allows individuals to personalise the website to their interests and to get the latest news about the campaign in both Spanish and English".

In recent months a number of US Government sites have been defaced by hackers.

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