By John Murray-Brown in Dublin
Published: August 17 2000 18:06GMT
Last Updated: August 18 2000 03:09GMT
Thousands of Irish computer users were unable to access the internet on
Thursday, after the country's largest service provider had to issue new
passwords after an overnight hacker attacked the system. 
A spokesman for Eircom, the former state telephone monopoly, which
operates Eircom Net and Indigo with a total of 240,000 customers, said
the passwords were being changed as a precautionary measure to prevent
the hacker gaining access to emails and websites. 
The incident is the first known case of a security breach in Ireland and
will add to public concerns about the privacy and confidentiality of the

[First known case of a security breach in Ireland?

19 defaced pages in Ireland, some dating back to May '99. Surely one of
those must count as a security breach.]