CERN’s Large Hadron Collider was h4x0r3d, courtesy of a group of grey hats who label themselves “The Greek Security Team”. I would have bet money on this happening, perhaps not quite so quickly. One truism of academia is that people generally have excruciatingly bad security practices, simply because “sharing and openness” are regarded as quantifiable goods, in and of themselves.
There are significant design flaws if the command and control equipment is accessible. (ed. note -> Pat Cahalan, you’re up next on “State The Obvious!”).
The hackers were stopped before they could access the Collider’s central computer system, but were described by the Telegraph as being “one step away” from full control of the CMS. They deleted one as-yet publicly unidentified file — the hacker equivalent, perhaps, of counting coup.
“We’re pulling your pants down because we don’t want to see you running around naked looking to hide yourselves when the panic comes,” wrote the intruders in a note left on the Collider’s website.
Their message, inscrutable!