RIAA Web site hack allows music file downloads
By Ashlee Vance IDG News Service
August 28, 2002 4:20 pm ET

The Recording Industry Association of America Inc.\'s (RIAA) Web site apparently was hacked Wednesday, forcing the music industry backer into a most unnatural act -- providing free music for download.

The RIAA has led the fight against the trading of copyright music on the Internet, but now hackers have attacked back at the organization by altering its home page, changing some content on the site and making music available for download.

\"There is a problem with our site that we are fixing,\" said an RIAA spokeswoman who declined to be named. \"It should be back up shortly.\" The RIAA is declining to provide any details about when the \"problem\" with its Web site began or to confirm that the site was hacked.

The changes made to the RIAA site appeared to be retaliation for a lawsuit filed by the organization earlier this month against a Chinese music download site. The RIAA dropped its suit against the site last week after the site was taken offline. The RIAA Web site has also been hit by denial of service attacks in recent weeks in which computers controlled by hackers bombarded the site with requests, making it unavailable to most users.

A message on the apparently hacked RIAA\'s Web site said, \"The RIAA wishes to apologize for the heavy-handed manner in which the popular chinese [sic] site Listen4Ever was closed down, and would like to present the following items for free download as a token of its goodwill.\" The altered RIAA home page included a link to that message.

The message went on to say: \"Of course the list is relatively small, but please be patient -- we expect to offer over 300 next week. We also intend to offer pre-released movies in the coming months.\"
<font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">I thought this was pretty funny. I am not condoning hacking and piracy of course, but I still think it\'s funny!