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Hackers Force Pennsylvania's Government Web Site to Shut Down for Hours

Hackers infiltrated Pennsylvania's government Web site on Friday, forcing administrators to shut down nearly the entirely site for several hours.

Hackers broke into the pages of the departments of Labor and Industry, Education, and Military and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Pennsylvania Lottery, said Mia DeVane said, a spokeswoman for the Office of Administration.

DeVane said state information technology officers also learned Friday that four other states and a university had been attacked in a similar manner.

It wasn't immediately clear which other state Web sites were attacked. A message left with the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center seeking comment wasn't immediately returned.

Investigators tracked the source of the attack to a domain registered in China, she said.

DeVane said there was no reason to think anyone's personal data had been compromised or that any damage occurred when a hacker "got into what we would say is a back door."

By late afternoon, nearly all of the state's site had been put back online.

"It was more that we needed to take down those sites to make sure a virus couldn't spread," she said.

It is not unusual for the state's computer system to be the target of hackers, but having problems at four separate branches of state government prompted the decision to take down nearly the entire system, she said.