Subject: George W. Bush the Red?

Date Wed, 20 Oct 1999 09:05:10 -0400

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George W. Bush the Red
by Declan McCullagh

12:55 p.m. 19.Oct.99.PDT
Intruders apparently defaced the official campaign site of Republican
presidential candidate George W. Bush
early Tuesday, replacing a photo of the Texas governor with a bright red

hammer and sickle.

Visitors said the modified Web site, which quoted socialist literature
linked to the International
Communist League, was visible around 9:15 a.m. EDT.

Campaign officials spent the morning trying to puzzle out exactly what
happened, a task made more difficult
by the fact that the Web server automatically copied over the hacked
with the original one.

"We're trying to find out whether we had a visitor. Indications are that

we had a visitor," said Greg Sedberry, webmaster.

This isn't the first time a presidential contender has been embarrassed.

Vice President Al Gore's campaign site
was hacked on 10 April. "Gore was broken into in April. That's the only
one I know of in the 2000 race," said
B.K. DeLong, curator of the defacement archive at

On Monday, the campaign introduced a newly designed Web site, switching
from a single Unix server to
multiple computers running Windows NT and Microsoft's Web server.

"I inherited that Unix box when I came on board [in July]," Sedberry
"I took that box and said we need a
more robust setup. It was developed from scratch, and that's where the
problems can arise."

The campaign's NT machines are co-located at Austin-based Illuminati
Online, which says it hosts 2,000
customer Web sites.

"The George W. Bush machines are not under our control. They maintain
everything on those machines," said
an Illuminati Online engineer.

Jeremy Pinnix, webmaster of Nashville-based Anderson Thomas Design, said

he noticed the hacked site early

"I called them [the campaign] right away. They asked me to do a screen
capture and to email it to them. I
haven't heard back, but when I refreshed, it had been fixed," he said.

"Our first battle plan is to figure out exactly what happened," said
campaign spokeswoman Mindy Tucker.
"This is obviously a problem that anyone who has a Web site faces."

Sedberry said the NT machines are load-balanced, and the master Web
copies files every few minutes
to the duplicate ones.

"We're going through the whole system saying, 'Are we sure we locked
down?'" said campaign
webmaster Sedberry. "We're finishing it up, double-checking,
triple-checking. And we'll see."

According to a screen snapshot, the hacked site quoted the International

Communist League's belief that "we
must take the Marxist doctrine of proletarian revolution out of the
of theory and give it reality."

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