The fansite of former Brazil and Barcelona footballer Ronaldinho was defaced at the weekend and photographs of star replaced with mocking images of Osama Bin Laden and Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks.
Oddly given Ronaldinho’s nationality and profession, the hacker claiming responsibility for the attack – ‘Terrorist MC’ – used the attack to declare his or her admiration for Bin Laden and dislike of US President, Barack Obama. Ronaldinho appears simply to have been a high-profile and available victim.
“Comparing one of the world’s foremost footballers to an inept alien may have raised a smile on some faces, but you can bet that that grin would be reversed if the boot was on the other foot,” said Aziz Maakaroun of security company Outpost24.
Defacements of celebrity websites are not unknown but because the effect is short-lived have given away in recent times to a new the attack-du-jour, DDoS, such as the one launched by Anonymous against rock musician Gene Simmons earlier this year. This leaves the site intact but makes it impossible for anyone to visit it, sometimes for days.
Nowadays, defacements tend to be political rather than personal, including that by Irate Romanians on the Daily Telegraph in response to a claimed slight against the country. The Iranian Cyber-Army launched a similar defacement attack on The Voice of America radio service, while in 2008 attackers even turned their attention to the site of the Scottish Forth Rail Bridge.