by Michael White |
“The Foreplay of government sites continues.”
That’s what appears (after translation) on a Facebook post stamped 10:25 a.m. on Sunday, June 25, on the feed of a hacker group called Team System DZ feed.
What appears next is a web page:
That page, achieved through the hacking of Brookhaven Town’s website, according to town officials, was filled with anti-American hate speech.
“You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries,” read one message, according to ABC affiliate WKYC.
“These are people who wish this country harm and target Americans,” said Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine. “I’m proud to be an American. I’m proud to be little local official in a small town here. And I cannot imagine that people are so full of hate that they would target people simply because of their nationality. Or their religion. Or their race.”
The page was taken down within a half hour of the town learning of its existence on Sunday. The learned about it only through a New York Post online article that was published later that afternoon.
The article referenced Brookhaven Town and municipalities elsewhere, and it caught the eye of a town worker who immediately alerted the authorities.
The Suffolk County Police Department Anti-Terrorism Unit is investigating, officials said.
“Whether the FBI or Homeland Security gets involved would depend on what the Suffolk County Anti-Terrorism Unit finds,” Romaine said. “At no time were Brookhaven records in any way compromised or threatened.”
Romaine said Monday at 11 a.m. that he suspects the website will be down for about 24 more hours while its server is investigated.
Team System DZ is described in numerous media reports as an anti-Israel hacker group of ISIS sympathizers. News reports of similar attacks by the group date back to 2014.
Local authorities indicated on Monday that 76 government websites were targeted across the U.S. and elsewhere on Sunday.
“It’s important to note that looking at our regular website, you would have never come upon this website,” added Deputy Town Supervisor Dan Panico, “This Team DZ has been doing this for years to many municipalities. They hung a backslash index link onto our page to spread their hateful propaganda … the server is quarantined and is going to be fully investigated out of caution.”
The town officials emphasized the only way to reach the false town page was through Team System DZ after the hackers announced their hacks on Facebook with links.
“Why this group can even have a Facebook page is another issues,” said Panico.
Congressman Lee Zeldin also released the below statement:
“While we are still waiting on more intel as to this pro-ISIS hack, I have been in touch with Brookhaven Town Deputy Supervisor and Councilman Dan Panico and offered to assist in any way possible with regards to securing necessary support and resources from the federal government. I will continue to do anything in my power to improve cyber security and protect against other threats facing our nation at home and abroad.”