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Thursday, 20 January, 2000, 21:36 GMT
Hacker hits UN website

Hacked page How the page on electronic access laws appeared


A United Nations agency has been forced to close down part of its website after it was hacked into by a cyber vandal.

A link on the site of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), instead of showing a collection of laws for electronic access, displayed lyrics of a Bruce Springsteen song under the caption "children of the darkstar".

"We have closed the site down," WIPO's assistant director general Geoffrey Yu told BBC News Online from Geneva, Switzerland, where the organisation is based, on Thursday.

'One of the better-known hackers'

"With more and more users visiting the site we have been wondering when someone would play a trick on us.

"We are probably going to keep it out of order for a few days."

Mr Yu said he had no idea who might have hacked into the site, but said WIPO's technical department believed it was "one of the better-known hackers".

A clue to the hacker's identity appeared at the bottom of the hacked page was signed off with the words "phiber says bye now".

Outwitting

WIPO is an inter-governmental organisation and is one of 16 specialised agencies affiliated to the UN.

It oversees the administration of various multi-lateral treaties regarding intellectual property such as trademarks and copyrights.

Illegally hacking into computer systems has grown with the expansion of the internet, and many hackers relish the challenge of outwitting the authorities.

Last week, the US state of California said teenage hackers stole thousands of internet accounts and used them to scan the networks of two national laboratories involved in the nuclear weapons programme.

Microsoft's e-mail service, Hotmail, was also hacked into last year.

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See also:
10 Jan 00 |  Sci/Tech
Net thief grabs credit cards
10 Jan 00 |  Sci/Tech
Hacker scare hits Virgin Net
07 Jan 00 |  Americas
Police seek key to cyber-crime
08 Oct 99 |  UK
Phone hacker dials 106,000 bill
06 Sep 99 |  e-cyclopedia
Cracking: Hackers turn nasty
12 Jan 00 |  Americas
Hackers target nuclear weapons labs

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