Subject: BARC hacked! (long msg)

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Hackers Access Indian Nuclear Research Facility

      ****Hackers Access Indian Nuclear Research Facility 06/03/98
          WASHINGTON, DC, U.S.A., 1998 JUN 3 (NB) -- By Bill Pietrucha,
          Newsbytes. Saying that "the world is lucky we're so nice,"
          members of the hacker group Milw0rm, who earlier today broke
          into the local area network (LAN) of India's Bhadha Atomic
          Research Center (BARC), proved the fallacy of firewalls and
          network security systems in the worst possible way by
          retrieving information on India's nuclear weapons program.
          "It's ironic that India has weapons capable of destroying the
          world, but they can't secure a little web server which is
          connected to their networks," one of the hackers, called
          Keystroke, said in an Internet relay chat (IRC) with John
          Vranesevich, founder of the Anti Online Web site,
          http://www.antionline.orgoom/june98/21.asp/geoclimate.htmle/119639335a .
          "We have information on their weapons, their test projectories
          (sic), everything, and we are doing this from all over the
          world," another Milworm hacker, JF, said. "They are not secure,
          Milw0rm are beating them, this shouldn't be happening."
          The group broke into BARC's local area network through its Web
          site at http://www.barc.ernet.ingoom/june98/21.asp/geoclimate.htmle/119639335a which was connected to the
          LAN, Vranesevich told Newsbytes. "There was a firewall, but it
          wasn't configured properly and Milw0rm managed to bypass it,"
          he said.
          The group was able to access e-mail between the BARC
          scientists, as well as a list of planned nuclear projects and
          other files related to India's nuclear research program.
          The Milworm group, however, which includes the online aliases
          of JF, Hamstor, Keystroke, savecore, Venomous and ExtreemUK,
          also said some of the files pertain to a group of experiments
          called the Neutron-Gamma Coincidence Studies.
          Giving the names of scientists from BARC and other Indian
          research centers, including Dr. S. K. Basu, Sri S. Chanda,
          Sarmishtha Bhattacharya, Prof. M.B. Chatterjee, Prof. H. C.
          Jain, Dr. P. Joshi and Sri. R. Palit, as proof of their
          break-in, Keystroke said that "it's security was uhm lacking...
          severely lacking."
          One piece of e-mail retrieved by the group that was shown to
          Newsbytes detailed a conversation about increasing the yield of
          gamma rays in Pm141, an isotope of the rare earth element
          "The slight increase in the yield of 882 (keV gamma ray) in our
          alpha data could be accepted because at lower energy, the
          population of the isomer may be more which stabilses after some
          threshold energy of the projectile," the e-mail said.
          The group said it is "still contemplating" what to do with the
          information they hacked, "but we securely have it locked away
          and we will be keeping this position until further events
          "We could use it in a very serious case of international
          terrorism and sell the information," they said, "but as we are
          not interested in causing world trouble (he he) we will hold
          onto it. We were just angry over the nuclear tests... if you
          saw the html we put up on their Web page (yes we changed that
          as well) you can see that we are against the tests."
          Milw0rm also changed BARC's Web page into an anti-nuclear
          "It just goes to show that `No' information is safe, the group
          said. This is a highly classified and highly sensitive issue,
          the recent tests show that it is no laughing matter."
          Underscoring the fact that their hacking was "no laughing
          matter," Keystroke said "it'd be interesting to send some
          e-mail from the indian (sic) server to a pakistan (sic) server
          saying we're india (sic) and we're about to nuke them."
          The Indian Embassy in Washington, meanwhile, had no comment on
          the break-in, telling Newsbytes they had not heard of the
          break-in this afternoon.
          Reported by Newsbytes News Network: http://www.newsbytes.comgoom/june98/21.asp/geoclimate.htmle/119639335a .
          21:57 CST

   Indian nuclear center admits hacker break-in 
   Officials at an Indian nuclear research center have confirmed that
   their computer network was infiltrated by a group of hackers and that
   the electronic mail system was accessed.
   "It's all taken care of, there's nothing to worry about," an official
   of the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) said.
   The official confirmed the claims of the a group of hackers calling
   themselves "Milw0rm", who said they managed to breach network security
   at BARC, change the Web home page and download five megabytes worth of
   e-mail and data.
   "It's a very normal loophole in Sendmail," the BARC official said.
   Sendmail is de facto Internet standard software for running
   electronic mail systems. "Definitely, there was some problem with
   Sendmail, they were using an old version," he added.
   Sendmail has been the object of many security attacks in the past and
   most security-conscious users have addressed the loopholes uncovered
   and documented over the years. The Sendmail software at BARC had
   evidently not been updated with the latest security measures.
   Though hackers believe they downloaded messages and data related to
   India's recent series of nuclear weapon tests, that is yet to be
   A single e-mail message from the five megabytes downloaded was passed
   to Newsbytes. After being shown it, scientists of the University of
   Tokyo's Institute for Nuclear Studies said it had nothing to do with
   weapons but that it did contain, "pretty advanced nuclear physics."
   Newsbytes has also confirmed that a second group of hackers attacked
   the BARC Web site. As opposed to the Milw0rm group, which attacked the
   network and accessed files, the second group replaced the home page on
   the internal Web server with a simple message titled "Just Say No."
   The hacked Web page said "Nuclear Tests in India. This page has been
   hacked in protest of a nuclear race between India, Pakistan and China.
   It is the world's concern that such actions must be put to end since
   nobody wants yet another world war. I hope you understand that our
   intentions were good, thus no damage has been done to this system. No
   files have been copied or deleted, and main file has been just
   renamed," the Web page read.
   "Stop the Nuclear Race! We Don't Want a Nuclear Holocaust," it ended
   in large, bold, red letters.
   At time of writing, the BARC Web site had reverted back to normal, and
   the site appears to be offline later in day.
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