back to article S'kiddies light-up LHC website

Web defacers hacked into the computer network at CERN to spray digital graffiti on a website connected with the Large Hadron Collider project last week. A previously unknown crew calling themselves "GST" or "Greek Security Team" broke into a site involved with the Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment, damaging files and leaving a …


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  1. Mr C

    why is this even possible?

    Me and my dumb brain would expect that one the most advanced and modern facilities playing with black holes to be completely isolated from the internet.

    Am i wrong?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    We Are 2600

    They're dial tones so don't mess with them? Or did they mean "we're hackers using Dial-Up, so fear us and our incredible latency"? That would explain why they're a couple of days late.

    And what do they think they're doing?! Surely doing anything untoward near CERN or its computers now could cause something to go wrong with the LHC and make it more likely to blow the planet up?! Haven't they seen WarGames?! Appropriately enough that's about the time that knowing about dial tones and stuff actually mattered...

    AC because I phear their L3e7 skryptid skyllz.

  3. TeeCee Gold badge

    Oh no!

    Not the Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment! How could they? Is nothing sacred?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Greeks, eh?

    Sounds like the Cypriots are having a party.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just take 'em all down

    Given how CERN has been treated by the public at large over the past month, I'm surprised they bother to talk to any of us at all.

  6. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Up

    Set Professor Brian Cox on 'em!

    To quote Brian, "Anyone who thinks the LHC will destroy the world, is a t**t!"

    If anyone sounds like he has his head screwed on right, Brian's the man!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    You read it here

    I predict that the first time they allow full energy collisions there'll be a big bang (in the noise sense, rather than in the universe creating sense) and much of the machine will be blown to pieces, making this all a massive waste of time and money. Blame will be placed on a faulty electronic circuit or some such thing.

  8. Andy Channelle

    What qualifications...

    What qualifications do you need to be the Scientific Editor of one of the biggest-selling newspapers in the country.

    If I'd written the 'one step away from the control...' line I'd be seriously embarrassed. It's like saying that a person standing outside a bank vault is 'one step away from all that money'. Yeah, but there's a fucking great big door in the way.

  9. Jamie


    I think it is more likely that this glorious orb would be turned into a whale plummetting to it's death wondering why it is plummetting to it's death.

  10. James Cleveland


    I wish these articles had more technical details? This side of IT fascinates me but was it a dodgy PHP script? Out of date daemon? Brute force? Keylogger?

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  12. steogede

    @Mr C

    >> Me and my dumb brain would expect that one the most advanced and modern facilities

    >> playing with black holes to be completely isolated from the internet.

    You expect their website to be entirely disconnected from the Internet?

    According to the article only the website was compromised. Whether or not anything else was at risk is entirely speculative on the part of the Daily Mail (according to the article).

    >> The Daily Telegraph speculates that the crackers were one step away from gaining access

    >> to the LHC's command and control network, a contention not supported by any

    >> evidence.(from the article)

    It is also worth noting that CERN doesn't have the computing power to process all of the data the decide to keep (they only keep about 1% of the recorded data). The rely on cloud computing from the facilities other institutions, which necessitates some sort of connection to the Internet.

    PS. El Reg, thanks for bring back some of the old icons. Much appreciated.

  13. Ginger


    Given all the data that needs to be shared and processed over the GRID networks I'd think an internet connection was a bit of a given tbh

  14. EnricoSuarve

    @ Mr C

    Don't be daft - in the tradition of all things new it is fully internet ready (how else are they gong to get themselves on myface?)

    In a facility the size of Geneva they're hardly going to want to use sneakernet are they? It's all perfectly safe, built by boffins and all

    Just checked - "Enter new test parameters here..." followed by a load of stuff I didn't get 'horizon' something - I didn't catch it all

    What is the minimum safe distance from a black hole anyway? Does a black hole maker qualify as a WMD? If so does Switzerland have any oil?

  15. Gilbert Wham

    It's too late! We're all doomed!

    As this webcam will show you:

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Me and my dumb brain would expect that one the most advanced and modern facilities playing with black holes to be completely isolated from the internet.

    Am i wrong?"

    Er, yes. They hacked a web server. And web servers do tend to be connected to the internet. Which is useful for the purpose of serving web pages. Which often requires internet access.

  17. Mark

    Oh dear.

    I don't suppose for a moment that CERN is using their webserver to control the LHC.

    Just... oh dear. The Telegraph dropped the ball there.

  18. blackworx

    Hoodies Attempt to Take Giant Atom Smasher for Joyride

    @ The Telegraph: FFS!

  19. Dan Howarth

    Would they? Really?

    God bless the British media. They wouldn't have been "one step away" from the control systems. Would CERN really have any of those systems logically anywhere near a simple webserver?

    Of course not.

    It's the kind of journalism demonstrated by the Telegraph that causes other kneejerk reactions like panic-buying petrol, bread and water in time of so-called crises.

  20. Mike Moyle
    Thumb Up

    Am I the only one amused...?

    "vanishingly small possibility that Earth might be sucked into a black hole"?

    Vanishingly small...? Black hole...?

    Well phrased, Mr. Leyden!

  21. Jodo Kast

    AFAIK, not sucked up...

    If I understand particle physics correctly, if you were to recreate the big bang, it would not create a black hole.

    Instead it would create a new universe... one that expands outward from the location of the big bang... with more power than gravity.

    I say we're due for a new universe!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Maybe my memory is playing tricks but...

    Didn't a bloke called Tim Berners-Lee work at CERN when he invented the World Wide Interweb?

    Why on earth would anyone expect CERN to *not* be connected to the web boggles the mind.

    Of course, I'd thoroughly expect the control systems to be isolated but it was a *WEB* server they hacked. There's a bit of a clue there.

    Paris (I think?) Because it's Monday.

  23. Sceptical Bastard

    And in other news...

    Quote: "The Daily Telegraph speculates that the crackers were one step away from gaining access to the LHC's command and control network, a contention not supported by any evidence."

    This particular quote sounds more Mail than Telegraph (Fear! Uncertainty! Doubt!) but nowadays most papers mix tech-illiteracy and plain old bollocks. Since when did science writing in national newspapers have any relationship with supporting evidence? Or, for that matter, with commonsense?

    "CERN At Root Of Plummetting House Prices!"

    "Hadron Horror: Influx Of Immigrants Expected Through Particle Pipe"

    "Al Fayed Backs Bonkers Boffins' Reincarnation Of Diana And Dodi"

    "The Sun Says Switch It OFF!"

  24. Neoc

    Obviously not *real* hackers.

    These were obviously s'kiddies, not real hackers. A real hacker would be eagerly awaiting the results and would only have broken in to:

    a) fix the software to make it faster/more accurate; and

    b) add some comms software so that they would be among the first to read the results. Who wants to wait for the media release?

  25. Michael Walsh
    Thumb Up

    RE:It's too late! We're all doomed!

    Gilbert: Absolutely Brilliant! ... Everyone should take a peek!

  26. Moss Icely Spaceport

    I for one...

    ....welcome our (soon to be) newly arrived alien overlords!

    Remember to bow low and long.

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