Some Internet vandals have defaced the online wiki of the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, launching dozens of attacks against the wiki and even posting a picture of a swastika. The website was eventually taken down after 170 or so malicious changes were made.
Responses to the question of "what tools can be used to deliver the environmental contract?" solicited the illuminating answer: "Spade, Organic Yoghurt Stirrer, Old washing up liquid bottle, Sticky Back Plastic."
After failing to stop the attacks, government system administrators cleansed the offending entries away and temporarily disabled the ability to add new entries. Environment secretary David Milliband said that the attacks have not put him off of the idea of using wikis for future policy consultation exercises…. Maybe he just needs to rethink their security a bit more.
"I gather that we have demonstrated the extreme openness of the wiki by playing host to some practical jokes plus a swastika. Strange how some people get their kicks. But the experiment will continue," he writes in an entry to his departmental weblog.
The government website is not the only one to experience a wave of cyber vandalism of late. Kevin Mitnick's website was defaced too a couple of weeks ago when vandals believed to be operating in Pakistan replaced the page with an offensive message and a defaced picture of Kevin. The server has now been restored back to its former state and the site is back online again. Mitnick was naturally not impressed.
'It is kind of stupid, they do it for the attention,' Mitnick said. 'When I was a hacker, I never stooped to defacing sites because that was more like vandalism, that wasn't any fun.'