FBI officials say the hackers have targeted mainly gaming sites so far, but fear the attacks could spread to other sites. The Houston FBI's Shauna Dunlap says the hackers make it appear federal authorities have seized the sites and even change registrant information that shows the site is registered to the FBI.
"They're basically taking the FBI seal and warning, misusing it, putting it onto that site and I guess making visitors of that site think as though the FBI had seized that site for some reason, which certainly isn't the case."
Dunlap says it doesn't appear the hackers are stealing information but that simply using the FBI seal can result in serious criminal charges. She says although officials don't know if young people are responsible for the take-overs, they often are in similar crimes.
"Kids get involved in these activities thinking that maybe it's a joke or thinking that it's funny to them and then they find out after the fact that they're being charged with a federal violation of law for the actions that they've done."
She says hackers often deface websites simply as a challenge and don't steal sensitive information.