Mr Bean ousts Zapatero from Spain's EU website

Mr Bean ousts Zapatero from Spain's EU website
Mr Bean ousts Zapatero from Spain's EU website 

By Giles Tremlett
5 January 2010

The resemblance is, if anything, in the way their eyebrows arch. But 
that was enough for a computer hacker's caricature of the prime 
minister, Jos Luis Rodrguez Zapatero, as Mr Bean to spoil Spain's launch 
week as holder of the European Union's presidency.

The beaming face of Rowan Atkinson's bumbling comic fool was 
transplanted on to the Spanish presidency's website yesterday.

Where Zapatero's warm, smiling image should have been reassuring 
millions of Europeans that they were in his capable hands, the hacked 
website featured the radiant, if dangerously incompetent, Mr Bean. "Hi 
there!" was the suitably Beanish greeting to Spain's European 

The parody became an instant internet hit, with Spaniards flocking to 
visit their new leader. "So many people were looking for Mr Bean that 
[the site] collapsed during the afternoon," admitted a source at 
Zapatero's Moncloa Palace offices.

Experts said a basic security hole involving cross-site scripting had 
allowed the hacker to play the joke. "The attack saw someone take 
advantage of a weakness in the so-called XSS code," the government's 
National Technology and Communications Institute said.


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