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Web defacers hacked into the computer network at CERN to spray digital graffiti on a website connected with the Large Hadron Collider project last week.

A previously unknown crew calling themselves "GST" or "Greek Security Team" broke into a site involved with the Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment, damaging files and leaving a lengthy message that said in part "We are 2600 - dont mess with us". The attack created a potential opening to plant malware on the site, but there's no evidence this happened and it seems that the hackers involved were simply showing off.

The Daily Telegraph speculates that the crackers were one step away from gaining access to the LHC's command and control network, a contention not supported by any evidence.

In response to the web defacement attack, atom smashing boffins took the site - cmsmon.cern.ch - offline. It remains unavailable at the time of writing on Monday morning. The site is connected to the the Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment, the project that will oversee one of the four detectors at the LHC, analysing the sub-atomic debris from proton collisions due to begin at the facility around the turn of the year.

LHC scientists began early tests last Wednesday, successfully accelerating protons around a loop but not actually crashing them into anything. Doomsayers predict all manner of disasters when boffins pull the big switch on the LHC. The fuss over the vanishingly small possibility that Earth might be sucked into a black hole or turned into a bowl of petunias has led some to make threatening phone calls or send abusive emails to CERN, the Telegraph adds. ®

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