Hackers claim hits on CIA, U.N. Web sites

This Anonymous account publicized the CIA site outage with these messages on Twitter.
This Anonymous account publicized the CIA site outage with these messages on Twitter.

The CIA's Web site was down this afternoon in what looked like a distributed denial-of-service attack publicized by members of the online activist group Anonymous.

With the CIA site inaccessible, the Twitter account for @YourAnonNews tweeted "CIA TANGO DOWN: cia.gov #Anonymous" and included a link to a news story about the outage on Russian site RT.com.

A CIA spokesman declined to comment on the matter to CBS News beyond offering this statement: "We are looking into these reports."

The Anonymous account also posted a Pastebin link purporting to expose e-mails from the Mexican Mining Chamber, also known as "Camimex." In the Pastebin message, the hackers said they were targeting Camimex for its alleged exploitative labor conditions and business practices.

Earlier today a hacker or group going by the moniker "Casi" took credit for hacking the Web site of the United Nations and released what appeared to be vulnerabilities on the site. It was unclear why the UN was targeted. The move did not have the hallmarks of an Anonymous operation, including a clearly written message and the Anonymous motto: "We are Anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget."

Anonymous has a history of targeting law enforcement and related agencies on Friday. Last week it released a recording of a conference call between the FBI and U.K. law enforcement that they snooped on as officials discussed Anonymous and affiliate hackers. It also that day claimed to have hacked into police sites in Texas, Boston and Salt Lake City, as well as the site of defense lawyers for a U.S. Marine accused of leading a civilian massacre in Iraq and claimed to have stolen e-mails. (This hacker chart lists much of Anonymous' activity since last year.)

Updated 2:35 p.m. PT with CIA comment.

  • Elinor Mills On Twitter» On Facebook»

    Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service, and the Associated Press. E-mail Elinor.