Hacker breaks into 49 House Web sites of both parties, posts crude attack on ObamaBy AP
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Hacker breaks into 49 House sites, insults Obama
WASHINGTON — A hacker broke into 49 House Web sites of both political parties to post a crude attack on President Barack Obama after his State of the Union address.
Jeff Ventura, spokesman for the House chief administrative officer, said the sites were managed by a private vendor — GovTrends of Alexandria, Va.
Most House Web sites are managed totally by House technicians but individual offices are permitted to contract with a third party to manage new features and updates.
Ventura says GovTrends let its guard down while performing an update, allowing the hacker to penetrate sites of individual members and committees overnight.
The attacker used an obscenity in referring to the president, who spoke from the House chamber Wednesday night.
Ventura said 18 House sites managed by GovTrends were defaced last August. The House is looking into continued use of the company, he said.
Phone messages left for GovTrends were not immediately returned.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican leader John Boehner wrote the House’s chief administrative officer, Daniel Beard, ordering “an immediate and comprehensive assessment of how hackers were able to deface the Web sites of nearly fifty House members and committees last night.”
They said an assessment must be made of GovTrends security — although the company was not named in the letter — and further ordered a review of security standards for all House contractors.
“We also request that you take immediate action to protect against breaches of the House firewalls and to ensure Web site security of all House offices,” the leaders said.