Hackers drive us crackers, says FBI

Spook server still down after kiddie-hackers play knock and run

The FBI said it is "a little bit frustrated" that its Web site is still down more than a week after they pulled the plug following an orchestrated attack by hackers. At a conference yesterday officials revealed they too were at a loss as to why the IBM-powered FBI site was still down. Although the hackers didn't actually breach the site's security or tamper with any files, they were able to bring it to its knees forcing the FBI to close it down. According to CNET, which attended the FBI briefing in Washington DC yesterday, Big Blur was busy constructing a more secure Web site complete with much thicker walls, a moat and a drawbridge. Deputy attorney general Eric Holder described the attacks on government Web sites as "serious" and urged people not to regard hackers as "little cherubs". It seems teenage geeks are to blame for the FBI's absence from the Web for the last week or so. Holder appears worried that public opinion may judge hacking by juveniles as part of growing up -- the modern-day equivalent of scrumping*. "We tend to think of these hackers as little cherubs, these little 15 and 16-year olds, going around fooling around with these computers," he said. "The reality is, regardless of their age, what they're doing has a very serious impact on the ability of these various agencies to get information out to the public," he said. He said those responsible for the outrage would be "vigorously prosecuted" when caught. ® *The Register dictionary: scrumping -- stealing apples from orchards in autumn** generally undertaken by young boys in the good old days. If caught, these petty juvenile offenders would often receive a clip round the ear by the village bobby. ** autumn -- fall. *** bobby -- colloquial term for a policeman.

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