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The website for Malaysia Airlines was taken offline, in an attack claimed to be by the Lizard Squad hacking group, according to the BBC.
Earlier on Monday, the website was replaced with the words ‘404 – Plane Not Found’ – something International Business Times describes as a “cruel and mocking reference” to the missing Flight MH370 – alongside the Lizard Squad logo (a lizard in a top hat, with a monocle and pipe) and the words “Hacked by LIZARD SQUAD – OFFICIAL CYBER CALIPHATE”
Malaysia Airlines was quick to admit the hack, saying in a statement that, “Malaysia Airlines confirms that its Domain Name System (DNS) has been compromised where users are re-directed to a hacker website when www.malaysiaairlines.com URL is keyed in. At this stage, Malaysia Airlines’ web servers are intact. The airline has resolved the issue with its service provider and the system is expected to be fully recovered within 22 hours.”
The company denied any servers had been hacked into, and claimed that user data had not been breached, stating, “Malaysia Airlines assures customers and clients that its website was not hacked and this temporary glitch does not affect their bookings and that user data remains secured.”
However, The Register reports Lizard Squad’s response that this isn’t the case, and that it has data it is preparing to leak. The hacking collective said through its Twitter account, “We would like to point out that @MAS is lying about user data not being compromised.” In a separate tweet, the account added, “Going to dump some loot found on malaysiaairlines.com servers soon.”
Lizard Squad has been in the news a few times in the last month, first for masterminding a DDoS attack that took down gaming networks Xbox Live and Playstation Network over Christmas, and then for launching a DDoS attack-as-a-service website which was then hacked itself.
AHMAD FAIZAL YAHYA / Shutterstock.com
Author Alan Martin, ESET