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Federal Web sites defaced with promise to hit again

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A spate of high-tech vandalism against the government continued this week, as computer hackers defaced two more federal Web sites and left a taunting note promising to attack other sites because of a related FBI investigation.

Hackers from different organizations defaced Web sites Monday for the Interior Department and a federal supercomputer laboratory in Idaho Falls, Idaho, claiming "it's our turn to hit them where it hurts.""These are the perils of open government," said Stephanie Hanna, an Interior spokeswoman. "We try to make as much of the materials of the Interior Department as open and available as possible. The consequence of that is, those who choose to do damaging things can do that."

Messages left at the attacked sites suggest they were vandalized to retaliate against what was said to be the FBI's harassment of specific hacker groups, including the group that boasted of breaking into the White House site last month.

The FBI confirmed it executed four search warrants last week in Texas related to the investigation.

Last week, hackers claiming to be from another group defaced the Web site for the Senate, causing it to be taken offline through the weekend.

The FBI also was forced to take down its own Internet site last week after hackers launched an electronic attack against it. It remained inaccessible Monday.