- WASHINGTON (CNN) - The FBI has raided at least 18 homes over the past month
in response to computer hackers who have vowed to vandalize every federal
government Web site.
- "I would definitely rather be sitting
at a computer right now," said a 19-year-old who cofounded a hacker
group called Global Hell, or "gH". The shelves and sockets in
his apartment are now bare following an FBI raid.
- Global Hell was the name splashed on
the official Web site of the White House after it was hacked in May.
- The FBI "took computers, printers,
modems and all computer- related stuff that was here. Phones, alarm clocks,"
said the teen, who asked to remain unidentified.
- He said that he didn't break into the
White House Web site, but that a member of his group did.
- The site (http://www.whitehouse.gov)
features a virtual White House tour, presidential speeches and other information
about the Clinton administration.
- It contains no sensitive data but was
forced to shut down for more than 24 hours following the cyber attack.
- Some members of the hacker community
and the FBI have been battling each other for months.
- "It seems to be a never-ending battle
that just seesaws back and forth," said a hacker who calls himself
Space Rogue. "They were upset with the FBI's actions against Global
Hell and started de-facing even more Web pages, some government, some not."
- The FBI says it pursues hacker cases
to discourage kids from turning to more serious computer crimes.
- "We've had lots of cases where the
same techniques were used to steal credit card information where the hackers
can then go and use the credit cards to purchase goods," said FBI
agent Michael Vatis.
- Hacking into Web sites is a felony that
carries a maximum punishment of five years in jail and a $250,000 fine.
- Science Correspondent Ann Kellan contributed
to this report.