Australian government issues warning over ‘ISIS hacks’

Australia’s federal government has issued a warning over the spate of recent website hacks claiming to have links with extremist group ISIS, reports ARN.

The warning was posted on the government’s Stay Smart Online initiative website, echoing the recent comments and advice given by the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The statement follows a hack of the nearby Hobart airport in Tasmania on Sunday, which saw the website hijacked and used to post threatening messages. Although it has now been restored, the website was out of action for a number of hours and has since issued an apology for the loss of service.

Website hacks of this kind have been a growing concern in recent months, with WordPress sites in particular being targeted by hackers. The FBI is currently investigating the attacks, which have hit seemingly unrelated targets from bars and churches, to the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre and Sequoia Park Zoo.

Although the perpatrators in these cases have all claimed to be linked to ISIS, experts say that the connection is unlikely to be genuine.

“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.”

The FBI has advised that all WordPress users review and follow the service’s guidelines, while also making sure to download the latest patches so that websites are more difficult to exploit.

Author , ESET

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