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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hackers invade Oregon computers

Hackers defaced the home page of the Oregon University System, posting a caustic message telling President Barack Obama to mind his own business and stop talking about the disputed Iranian election.

Attempts to access the university system's Web site were automatically redirected to another page, where readers viewed a message said to be from Iran that asserted there was no cheating in the election. That message was up for 90 minutes before university system technicians intervened Wednesday morning.

The hackers apparently took advantage of third-party software that had not been properly updated, university system spokeswoman Diane Saunders said. Hackers frequently attack the system's computers, but technicians usually beat back their efforts, she said.

"They are able to stomp on most of them," Saunders said.

She said nobody's personal computers were attacked. Also, no malicious software — which could give hackers remote access to computer hard drives — was introduced.

There was no immediate indication why the hackers targeted the system, which oversees Oregon's seven public universities.

The message that was posted on the Web site, made available to The Associated Press by the university system, addressed Obama and said it was being posted from Iran. The text, in red on a black background, calls on Obama to focus on the economic crisis instead of commenting on the Iranian election.

The message also makes derogatory comments about Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has contended the June 12 vote was rigged.

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