The Senate's Deputy Sergeant at Arms, Maria Bradford, told Reuters that the group penetrated the public side of the site only and has not created a lasting security problem.
"Although this intrusion is inconvenient, it does not compromise the security of the Senate's network, its members or staff," she said. "Specifically, there is no individual user account information on the server supporting senate.gov that could have been compromised."
The group outlined the rationale for its latest action in its statement:
"We don't like the US government very much. Their boats are weak, their lulz are low, and their sites aren't very secure. In an attempt to help them fix their issues, we've decided to donate additional lulz in the form of owning them some more!"
The Senate is the frequent target of hacking attacks, fending off tens of thousands each month, according to Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer.
Busy beavers, Lulzsec hacked into the website of Sony Pictures earlier this month. Other targets include PBS (for a Frontline documentary on Wikileaks) and two against game makers Bethesda Softworks. http://www.bethsoft.com/eng/index.php
The motivations of hackers are rarely as clear-cut as their detractors insist they are (simple criminality) or as laudable as they themselves insist they are. The Senate, Lulzsec say, was hacked to encourage them to increase their security and Bethesda to "speed up the production of Skyrim," a game. Either the group is being disingenuous or are wildly deluded as to how their actions will be received by either a government organization or a game devs.