Hackers break US government travel site

A travel reservations site used by US government agencies was hacked last week, and shunted unsuspecting users to a malicious domain.

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A travel reservations site used by US government agencies was hacked last week, and shunted unsuspecting users to a malicious domain.

The site, Govtrip.com, is currently unavailable to federal employees through their offices' intranet. The version accessible via the public Internet is also offline.

Sometime before 11 February, hackers breached the site, and then modified it to redirect users to a rogue URL that in turn directed attack code against their systems, according to the General Services Administration (GSA), and e-mail sent to federal workers that Computerworld has seen.

"Last week, some users of GovTrip, when logging on to the GovTrip site, were redirected to a site that delivered malicious software to their computers," an e-mail sent to employees of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) read.

"The incident, which also affected other Federal agencies, was quickly identified by systems security. At this time, the GovTrip site is not safe to use and should not be accessed."

A GSA spokesman, Robert Lesino, confirmed the GovTrip hack, and said the redirect hit users on 11 February. "The incident was quickly identified," said Lesino, who declined to answer specific questions, citing the ongoing investigation. He also said that no user information was believed to have been compromised by the hack.

GovTrip is used by several US government agencies, including the EPA, the Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, Department of Transportation and the Treasury Department to make travel reservations, as well as to reimburse workers for travel expenses.

The site is operated by defence contractor Northrop Grumman.

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