- - Monday, June 13, 2011

SENATE

Hackers claim break-in of Senate computers

A loosely aligned group of computer hackers calling themselves Lulz Security said they broke into the U.S. Senate’s computer network Monday.

There was no immediate comment by the Senate Sergeant at Arms Office, which oversees the chamber’s security.

Lulz Security, who have hacked into Sony’s website and the Public Broadcasting Service, posted online a list of files that appear not to be sensitive but indicate the hackers had been into the Senate’s computer network.

“They certainly demonstrated that they were in and they found the file server,” said Stewart Baker, a former cyber-official at the Department of Homeland Security.

“It’s not clear from the file names that there’s anything sensitive here. The hackers may have done the equivalent of burglarizing the Senate and bragging because they managed to steal a bunch of souvenirs from the gift shop,” said Mr. Baker, now a partner at Steptoe and Johnson LLP.

John Bumgarner of the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit said the break-in would cause red faces at the Senate.

“They’re all valid directories,” he said after looking at data posted online. “It’s very embarrassing that this happened that this was a government site that belonged to the Senate and was compromised.

“They probably also got user names and passwords.”

WHITE HOUSE

Obama announces plan to cut federal waste

President Obama announced a new effort Monday to eliminate government waste and named his vice president to lead it.

Mr. Obama signed an executive order that creates an oversight board to work with federal departments and agencies to cut waste and improve performance, according to a draft of the order obtained by the Associated Press. Vice President Joseph R. Biden will meet regularly with Cabinet secretaries to chart progress.

Monday’s announcement comes as the White House grapples for ways to both boost sluggish economic growth and chip away at the deficit.

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