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Hackers attack game site

Online gaming site Sierra On-Line is the latest in a string of popular Net destinations to get hacked.

Hackers broke into the online gaming site Sierra On-Line and took down the front page for three hours over the weekend, the company said.

The hackers--or, more likely, the lone hacker--did not gain access to credit card information or other internal databases, said company spokeswoman Barbara Dawson.

"Somebody managed to hack into our Web site but they only got into our first page," she said.

To be on the safe side, however, Sierra is bringing in a security expert to determine how the hack occurred and how to prevent it in the future.

Some Netizens speculated that the hacker might have taken action to exact revenge on the site for not posting a program patch in a timely manner. But Dawson said she had no way of knowing the hacker's motivation.

Others said this could be the first of many hacks from a group.

Hackers regularly try to break into Web sites. Often the motivation is not to actually steal or do damage but to gain notoriety in the hacker community, much like a graffiti artist gains notoriety by tagging. In both worlds, the more visible the target, the better.

Last week, hackers broke into Yahoo, considered by some to be the most popular site on the Web, claiming to have planted a "bomb" set to detonate on Christmas. Yahoo and others have said there is no such bomb and that it was a scare tactic.

Earlier this month, Fox Online's site was hacked, with the hacker leaving a cryptic message about the network's popular show The X-Files.