No important data was compromised in a hack Thursday of Leon County’s government website by an ISIS-linked group.
Up for only minutes on the Leon County homepage, the message accompanied by a photo of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un and audio of a 1964 Ronald Regan speech was gone as quickly as it appeared.
Leon County Administrator Vince Long said no information was compromised and the hack appears to be a random, surface-level breach of the website.
Important data is hidden behind a separate firewall. Internal and contract digital security workers are addressing the hack.
“It appears that it was a defacement of the website, which in the realm of hacking is a bit more superficial in terms of the integrity of the information on our website,” Long said.
The message said the website was “hacked by Moroccan Islamic Union-Mail. The time of the monopoly of nuclear weapons is over. If North Korea is bombed, Washington will be bombed too. It is stupid for America to be ruled by an idiot like Trump and remember the North Korean it is ruled by Kim, the wise man who is not afraid of anyone.”
A link at the bottom of the text leads to a Facebook page supposedly run by the Moroccan group claiming the hack. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Moroccan Islamic Union-Mail is a group that actively hacks for ISIS.
The group has been working on breaching websites, particularly government ones, around the world for years. Its Facebook page includes links to previous hacking mirrors of the sites it has invaded.
A post written in Arabic Wednesday talks about how the group is undergoing secret cyber-attacks over the next two days, directing messages to the American government. In the post, the group claims the hacks are only for “entertainment and experiments,” and to make an index of the “most important sites in the world.”
A post on Thursday indicates the hack was an “overthrowing of the Leon Consulate of Florida.”
Stearns County, Minnesota’s website was hacked similarly earlier this week at about 2:30 a.m., according to the St. Cloud Times.
Officials there confirmed a similar message from the Moroccan group with the message “this is not an attack we are just testing some tricks.”