The office of Canada's Prime Minister has rushed to set the record straight after hackers defaced that country's Conservative Party website and planted a press release falsely claiming PM Stephen Harper had been flown to a hospital emergency room after choking on breakfast.
“According to staff at the hospital, Harper was brought in via helicopter early this morning after his wife called 911,” the bogus release said, according to this screenshot. “He was eating breakfast with his kids when a piece of hash-brown lodged in his throat, blocking air from reaching his lungs. A member of his security team happened to be nearby, and immediately began to apply first-aid.”
The hackers left a link to a Twitter user named LulzRaft. Harper's office promptly removed the post and issued a statement that he was fine. The Conservative Party's website was another matter. At time of writing, it was inaccessible.
Website defacements are one of the more common and innocuous hacks on the internet. They are often the result of of a user failing to secure a password or someone exploiting a SQL injection vulnerability in one of the site's applications.
The damage from security breaches isn't always that minor. Earlier this year, computer networks belonging to Canada's Finance Department and Treasury Board were breached by hackers, who made off with sensitive government documents. ®