Several State Government Websites Hit by Cyber Attack

Media Division | June 28, 2017

Every day, we see new cyber attacks being targeted at a multitude of different organizations and entities. The specific goals and purposes of attackers can vary widely, but they are often malicious. Some will attack to purloin funds or data from organizations, and others will hijack websites to get a message across. A recent incident seems to be a case of the latter purpose. It appears that a pro-Islamic group had hacked into several state-run websites and placed anti-Trump messages on the pages.

States Affected in the Attack

The state websites affected included New York, Louisiana, and Maryland, but Ohio was the state most heavily hit by the attack. Several different websites had been hacked by a group called Team System DZ, and had displayed a message stating: “You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries.” This type of attack is typically known as “internet graffiti,” or “defacement” within the cyber realm. The various websites affected within Ohio included Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, The Inspector General, Department of Medicaid, the Casino Control Commission, LeanOhio, the Office of Health Transformation, first lady Karen Kasich, and the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. It is not believed that any data was accessed or compromised as part of the attack. State officials have remained quite tight-lipped in regard to how the attacks had occurred. The incident is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as well as the FBI, which may bring further light to the attack.

A dangerous part of these types of attacks is potential insidious malware installation. While this attack seemed to have been only for the purpose of defacement, it displays that the attackers were able to get access and could have done much more. Sometimes, with these types of attacks, the perpetrator could install hidden malware. Organizations may think that the issue is resolved, just for another dormant threat to show its face later on. When attacks like this occur, it is vital that affected organizations ensure to investigate the matter thoroughly and clean up any potential threats that may still remain. It also requires that organizations are able to have a thorough awareness of the activity within their various cyber operations.

The Importance of Cyber Security Monitoring in Preventing Attacks

Cyber attacks and threats can breach in a number of ways, which is why it is important for organizations to be able to have wide visibility over their networks and systems. This is where cyber security monitoring is such a vital tool for organizations to employ, as it allows them to have awareness of the current status of their various systems. An IT staff member or analyst can be alerted to any anomalies or indicators of compromise (IoC) that come about, which can then be immediately investigated. If the alert turns out to be malicious, whoever is in charge of the network or system can then expel or eliminate the threat. In this way, threats attempting to breach or perform malicious tasks can be recognized and identified rapidly, rather than going unnoticed for extended periods of time, which is, unfortunately, a very common occurrence. Monitoring is truly one of the most valuable implements that an organization can employ in today’s landscape of covert and insidious threats. Massive Alliance offers comprehensive cyber security monitoring services that can allow an organization to better defend themselves from infiltrating threats.

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