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.
Did a friend send you this? From now on, be the
first to find out! Subscribe to InfoSec News