Irish government’s Freedom of Information website hacked

The Irish government’s Freedom of Information (FOI) website has been targeted by hackers posting a pro-palestinian message that some connect to ISIS, reports the Irish Mirror, but investigators are sceptical.

The website was attacked yesterday (March 24th) and is currently inaccessible, with the usual design replaced by a white screen bearing the message: “Hacked by HolaKo.” As music plays in the background, the message goes on to say, “We are the best of the rest. Free Palestine #Save Gaza.”

Ireland’s FOI website usually serves to provide information on the Freedom of Information Act, giving people the chance to ask questions and obtain information held by the Irish government.

As noted by the Irish Times, the incident is the latest in a string of similar hacks to WordPress sites in the past few months, while another recent attack targeted the Dublin Rape Crisis centre website. The organization’s website, http://www.drcc.ie, was replaced with a banner image on March 8th that linked to a Facebook page that has since been taken down. The message on the banner read: “Hacked by Islamic State (ISIS). We are everywhere ;).”

Other WordPress victims this month include The Sequoia Park Zoo in California, the MERS Goodwill charity in St Louis and the Moerlein Lager House in Cincinnati.

As reported by We Live Security, the FBI is said to be investigating recent hacks of this kind, but law enforcement and security analysts are sceptical that the attacks have any genuine links to ISIS.

“There are no indications that the individuals behind these latest hacks have any real connection to ISIS,” said Evan Kohlmann of Flashpoint Intelligence. “These defacements have taken place amid a spate of recent attacks where ordinary hackers have cynically used far-fetched references to ISIS as a means of attracting media attention.”

by Kyle Ellison, ESET


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