13 Sep 2008

LHC Hack Saved the World

On 10 September 2008, a group identifying as the Greek Security Team managed to hack a computer system of the Large Hadron Collider charged to analyze the data from the Compact Muon Solenoid detector.In a web page of the CERN site, they described the technicians responsible for computer security as “schoolkids” and also expressed that they had no intention to disrupt the scientists' work.

The hackers reportedly mounted an attack on the Large Hadron Collider, which has raised eyebrows over the security of this historic experiment in the world, as it surpasses a vital milestone.

Scientists say that it was a competition between two hacker groups - known in hacking circles as 2600 and 1337, that led them to break into the experiment just before it was to begin.

2600, also known as the Greek Security Team broke into the experiment and left a message saying, "We are 2600.. don't mess with us..." The scientists who were behind the mammoth experiment had received threatening emails prior to the start.

Scientists working at Cern, the organisation that runs the vast smasher, were worried about what the hackers could do because they were 'one step away' from the computer control system of one of the huge detectors of the machine, a vast magnet that weighs 12,500 tons, measuring around 21 metres in length and 15 metres wide/high.

It appears that none of the experiments were adversely impacted by the security breach. But with "more than 110 different control systems" in place that run everything from building heating to radiation protection to the particle accelerators themselves, the idea of a security breach can seem frightening. Cern's own Computing and Network Infrastructure for Controls group had previously produced a document that said, "recent events show that computer security issues are becoming a serious problem also at Cern." The team refused to comment, however, on this week's security breach.

Fortunately, only one file was damaged but one of the scientists firing off emails as the CMS team fought off the hackers said it was a "scary experience". The hackers breached the CMSMON system, which monitors the CMS software system. CMS takes vast amounts of data during collisions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Saved the World" What BS is this?
The LHC won't destroy the world. This is 100% false.

The stupid media is trying to induce panic and now this website has become a fear-monger, itself.

Seriously, atleast do SOME research.