UNBSU website is running again after hacked by ISIS supporter

Screenshot 2014-10-13 21.24.55
A screenshot of the UNBSU website, which was hacked by an ISIS supporter.

The University of New Brunswick Student Union website is back online and security measures have been taken after it was overtaken by an organization supporting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Monday night. It was restored to an earlier form by 10:30 p.m. that night.

The website was one of hundreds around the world that appeared to have been targeted by a group called Team System DZ since at least Oct. 4. For a few hours the UNBSU website featured the organization’s name and anti-American rhetoric. Below the organization’s name on the site read, “i love you isis.”

UNBSU vice president external Nicole Saulnier said the union was in contact with the Fredericton Police Force after they discovered the website was hacked.

“We are working with our website provider to protect ourselves from this type of vandalism in the future,” she said in an email Tuesday.

Fredericton Police Force spokesperson Alycia Morehouse confirmed the complaint came in Monday night and the RCMP been informed of the situation.

“We are taking it very seriously, and the investigation is ongoing,” she said. “It does not at this time appear that any other websites were affected… We haven’t had any other reports.”

Zack Spear, CEO and Co-owner of ICS Creative Agency, which oversees the administration of unbsu.ca, said his company had planned to transfer the website over to a new host when the attack happened. He said the students’ union website is technically hosted by server provider bluehost.com.

“We found the hack and we had everything fixed within about two hours,” said Spear. “This is something we don’t take lightly. We’re doing everything we can to ensure that our websites are secure.”

Below the title on the UNBSU website was an Arabic phrase that roughly translates to, “God’s law is in progress. The Islamic nation is coming and god’s law will be applied. You have been warned.”

The website then featured a scrolling-text-box, that in part read: “The state of Islam and the list expands, God Willing. Now now fighting began. This time is a time of Islam and victory and lift the injustice for Muslims and the elimination of America and the allies of the infidels Will not keep silent about one inch of the land of the Muslims. Will not keep silent about one drop of blood of Muslims. Will not keep silent about the symptoms of women and children… The alliance of all the world against the state of Islam will not succeed and will offer to martyrdom and Jihad…”

At the bottom of the page was another Arabic passage, which roughly translates to, “The heroes of the Islamic nation will not be forgotten. We will not forget he who sacrifices himself for God. Their motto is victory and martyrdom for God.”

ICS was in the process of pulling server activity logs from their networks to hand over to authorities Tuesday morning.

Spear said the site’s software was patched, website security was updated and the site moved to a new server by noon Tuesday.

An open Facebook page titled Team System DZ features links to at least 100 other hacked websites since Oct. 4, shared by a user also named Team System DZ.

One post on the page references “server Israelian sql injection.” An SQL injection seeks to add a command into a website’s code to gather hidden information like passwords and in some cases can write over top of the existing website. Below that, in a separate post, is a link to a file hosting and sharing website with a link for KompoZer, a website design tool.

Meanwhile, the St. Thomas University Students’ Union website remained untouched by unwanted intruders.

STUSU president Santiago Chavez said the situation is being monitored and STUSU will assist the UNB students’ union if needed.

 

 

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that the UNBSU was in contact with the RCMP. In fact, the UNBSU contacted the Fredericton Police. We apologize for the error. 

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