Area Woman Says Her Website Was Hacked By ISIS Sympathizers
A local businesswoman is being terrorized by not just hackers, but hackers that are also ISIS sympathizers. Genny Davila owns RESQ/CO, a collar and leash store (for dogs, not the 50 Shades kind). One day, her company's website suddenly went from advertising hand-crafted pet products to this declaration: "i love isis & Jihad," CBS LA reports.
The landing page also proclaimed the site hacked by a group called Team System DZ. This wasn't DZ's first attack, nor its last. A few weeks ago, they hacked a Buena Park nonprofit's website.
Todd Plesco, Chief Information Security Director at Chapman University, told CBS he thinks the hackers are not actually affiliated with ISIS or other terrorist organizations in any way. Rather, he thinks they're probably just some teenagers who live in another country. He likened the attack to graffiti artists tagging a building.
"'I love ISIS and Jihad,' that's the sort of thing a teenager would [write]," he said. "If it was ISIS it would be something very militant."
If you type "I love ISIS & Jihad" into your browser, you're probably on some sort of NSA watch list now. But also, you'll find some other small websites with the same hacked notice. There's this site which used to ask the question, 'Should I get a personal loan to improve my credit?' Now, it has the same message, plus, 'Fuck israel(sic) & USA & France,' 'je suis mohamed,' and 'je suis ISIS.' Some hacks also provides an email address you can use to contact the hackers. This site about cycling has also been hacked.
Attacks dating back as far as July targeted other small websites all around the world, according to techie site GeekTime. One message read, "Hackers, Human Right Organisations and Activists all around the world to unite again and start a campaign against Israhell." Another read, "Anonymous collective, all Hacker teams will join this operation inchallah and we will be the cyber resistance, the cyber shield, the voice of the forgoten [sic] people….join the cyber intifada." These hacks apparently came with spooky music. The hackers seem to keep a running tally of their attacks via a Twitter account.
You might be wondering how pet supplies, cycling and personal loans attracted the ire of these suspected restless teens, and the answer seems to lie in the company's smallness. A site like Google or Yahoo!—or Sony—is hard to attack, but a small business site is relatively easy. Typically operated by only one or a few people, there's not a lot of password changing or updating like in companies where an employee is dedicated to online security.
As for now, RESQ/CO is back online, selling hand-made dog products. The site's tagline is "solid construction and American made integrity."