Hackers attack Kentucky

Kentucky officials have reassigned some network management duties after discovering a "monstrous" systems intrusion in which hackers, apparently from France, used Transportation Cabinet computers to store large quantities of pirated movies, music, games and books.

The state has shifted responsibility for the cabinet's routers to the Governor's Office for Technology. Ed Hackett, auditor of public accounts, referred information about the hacking incident, as well his office's discovery of employees' use of state computers to access porn sites, to state and federal prosecutors.

State officials met July 30 to cope with the aftermath of the hacking incident, which began in April, according to a statement from Hackett.

State Chief Information Officer Aldona Valicenti said her office is working with state auditors and Transportation Cabinet officials to preserve evidence that prosecutors may need. According to the auditor's staff, the hackers may have committed the crimes of theft of services and illegal access to a state computer.

B.J. Bellamy, CIO of Hackett's office, said the hackers had started penetrating a proxy server in the Transportation Cabinet April 2, according to a log they left behind in the system. The hacking incident continued until late last week, Bellamy said, when computer specialists in the auditor's office discovered that the server had been penetrated.

When the auditors realized the scale of the intrusion, he said, they discontinued their security audit work and informed the cabinet and the Governor's Office for Technology of their findings and recommendations on how to cope with the intrusion.


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