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Three Novell OpenSUSE community web site were defaced on Sunday by politically motivated hackers. Defacement archive Zone-H reports that a group called IHS Iran Hackers Sabotage broke into OpenSUSE.org, wiki.novell.com and forge.novell.com to post a message stating that it was Iran's right to develop nuclear power. All three sites were defaced in the same way (archive here).

OpenSUSE.org and forge.novell.com have since been restored to normal operation and the offending images removed. The wiki.novell.com site has been taken temporarily offline. Although somewhat embarrassing all early indications are that the attack was not serious.

Of greater concern are reports that hackers compromised a gaming-related server maintained by Novell and used it to scan for other vulnerable machines. The hacked system - which ran a mail server for a gaming site called Neticus.com - has been scanning for vulnerable SSH systems since 21 September, Computerworld reports. The rogue behaviour was spotted by net security firm Brandon Internet Security which traced attacks against its clients' systems back to the compromised servers.

A Novell spokesman played down that incident by saying the hacked servers were part of test systems located outside Novell's corporate network. ®

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