The hacker collective LulzSec claims to have successfully breached a network server under the control of the U.S. Senate.
Officials believe the Senate.gov intrusion was relatively low level, and that no sensitive documents or records were accessed.
“Although this intrusion is inconvenient, it does not compromise the security of the Senate’s network, its members or staff,” Senate Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms Martina Bradford said in a statement.
The group posted the following statement on their website referring to the Senate system breach:
"We don't like the US government very much. This is a small, just-for-kicks release of some internal data from Senate.gov - is this an act of war, gentlemen? Problem?"
The Senate's IT staff discovered the intrusion over the weekend and believe the group was able to map the network, and that any information exposed was already meant for public display.
LulzSec recently claimed responsibility for attacks against Sony and PBS, as well as for the hacking of networks belonging to the Atlanta chapter of FBI affiliate InfraGard. The group defaced the organization's website and exposed InfraGard's email database.
LulzSec's defacement of the InfraGard site gave indications that the attack was in retaliation for the Obama administration's recent assertion that cyber-based attacks can be construed as an act of war in certain circumstances.
LulzSec claims to have also hacked Sony Pictures, Sony Entertainment, and Sony BMG last week, compromising the data for over one million customers as well as gaining access to admin passwords, music "codes" and "coupons".
LulzSec also recently gained unauthorized access to the online networks belonging to Public Broadcasting System in protest of a Frontline documentary examining the whistleblower organization WikiLeaks and accused federal document leaker Bradley Manning.