Big Bang project security breached

CERN Large Hadron Collider website becomes inaccessible after hack attack

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  September 14, 2008

Hackers breached CERN’s $4.4 billion Large Hadron Collider project, widely considered to be the biggest scientific experiment of our time.

The Telegraph reported that members of the ‘Greek Security Team’ hacked into the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) facility, calling the technicians responsible for project security “a bunch of schoolkids”.

On September 10th, the first beam in the Large Hadron Collider was successfully steered around 27 kilometres of the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. Around the same time, the Greek Security Team targeted CMS, one of the four detectors that will observe collisions to help physicists explore new territory in matter, energy, space and time.

Only one file was damaged in the attack but, as a result, the project website - www.cmsmon.cern.ch - can no longer be accessed.

Over the next few weeks, the LHC will be building up power and starting collisions in order to shed some light on some of science’s greatest mysteries. For example, gravity acts on mass but no explanation exists on what exactly generates mass.

Scientists also hope to learn more about dark matter of the universe from the experiments. It’s believed that visible matter accounts for just 5% of what must exist, while about a quarter is believed to be dark matter.

Competition between two rival hacker groups is believed to have instigated the breach.

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