Threat Management, Network Security, Threat Management

Pro-ISIS hacker group defaces state, local government websites

Government websites in Ohio, Maryland and New York were defaced with a pro-ISIS message over the weekend from a hacktivist group called Team System Dz, according to various news reports.

"You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries," the defacement content read. Ohio in particular bore the brunt of the cyberattacks, which impacted the websites of Governor John Kasich and first lady Karen Kasich, the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, Casino Control, the Office of Workforce Transformation, the Office of Health Transformation, the Inspector General, and Medicaid, local Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC reported on Sunday.

The defacement message also read: "I Love Islamic state." Howard Country in Maryland and the town of Brookhaven, NY were similarly affected. Vice News reported that sites affiliated with Louisiana and Michigan were also affected, quoting a pro-ISIS hacker as saying that the cyberattacks were "only the beginning."

"Website defacement is a typical tactic used by hacktivists seeking to have their voices heard," said Chris Olson, CEO of The Media Trust, in emailed comments. "While the cause is still being investigated, it wouldn't surprise me to discover that this defacement leveraged a phishing attack via email or website third-party code to obtain administrative privileges and access the web server."

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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