The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hackers have a field day

London, July 6 (Reuters): Computer hackers vying in a global contest today defaced a slew of web sites, but the damage was confined to the Internet’s backwater of small, unsecured sites, security officials said.

The “Defacer’s Challenge” got off to a quick start with 300 attacks reported minutes after the contest started, said Roberto Preatoni, founder of Estonia-based, a site that tracks hack attacks.

“There were no big names,” he said. But he added his own site,, was knocked offline for much of the day because of a high volume of legitimate visitors and apparent attempts by hackers to bog down his computer servers.

According to the contest web site, which was taken offline last week, hackers were urged to prove their skills by defacing as many web sites as possible during a six-hour span today. Points were awarded for the number and type of computer servers they infiltrated, the rules stated.

Concern grew among cyber security organisations that the competition would cripple countless web sites, but today there was no sign of damage among the web’s most popular sites.

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