Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Mr. Bean becomes Spanish PM !

Few people would be able to cite the name nor perhaps even recognise the Spanish Prime Minister, at least outside of Spain. But almost everyone could spot the character Mr. Bean who for a brief moment made it to Spain's EU website with the help of hackers. And so for a few short hours Mr. Bean was the Spanish Prime Minister!

Representatives for the real Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero confirmed the defacement of www.eu2010.es but insisted data on the site was never compromised. The government, which took over the six-month rotating presidency of the EU on January 1, also said the site had also become saturated as thousands of Internet users sought to confirm press reports of the spoof.

The stunt was achieved using a cross-site scripting attack, or XSS, which injects unauthorized content and code into visitors' browsers that steal authentication credentials or redirect victims to malicious websites.

People who visited the website on Monday were briefly met by an image of Mr. Bean actor Rowan Atkinson, complete with a benign smile and the words "Hi there". Comparisons between the appearance of Spain's leader and the buffoon have been a long-standing joke in the country. In a recent edition of Spanish newspaper El Pais, Zapatero was depicted as Mr. Bean in a cartoon printed above an article that was highly critical of his handling of the Spanish economy , where unemployment has reached almost 20% [BBC].

tvnewswatch, Beijing, China

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