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Aaron Swartz’s supporters hack MIT site again

In a tribute to Aaron Swartz, the cyber activist who committed suicide this month, hackers took down MIT’s website for an hour on Tuesday.

Outside viewers who visited MIT’s Web domain between 11:58 a.m. and 1:05 p.m. saw a black page with white text reading, “R.I.P. Aaron Swartz, Hacked by grand wizard of Lulzsec, Sabu.” The student newspaper, The Tech, reported the outage — at least the second time in the past month that MIT has been hacked.

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The weekend after Swartz’s suicide, MIT’s website was down for a few hours, and some areas of the site were turned into a memorial page for Swartz, 26. He was facing trial for hacking an archive system on MIT’s network . According to the Tech, last Saturday there was also a 10-hour e-mail outage.

Spokeswoman Kimberly ­Allen said Tuesday’s outage affected those who tried to access the website from outside MIT.

“MIT’s domain rights and the domain were returned to MIT’s control at 1:05 p.m.,” Allen said.

The Tech reported that people who visited the site were redirected to a page hosted by a security company called CloudFlare. Matthew Prince, chief executive of the company, said CloudFlare was not hacked.

A person who “obtained unauthorized control” over the domain used CloudFlare’s Domain Name Servers to host the domain, Prince wrote. “We worked with MIT . . . to restore access to their domain.”

Carolyn Y. Johnson can be reached at
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