- The Washington Times - Friday, June 30, 2017

A mass hacking campaign caused government websites in the U.S. and abroad to display gruesome messages this week praising the Islamic State terror group and prompting an FBI probe.

Hundreds of websites hosted around the globe were altered to show Islamic State propaganda, according to archived versions uploaded to Zone-H, a website that chronicle online defacements, including government websites in no fewer than five states, among other victims.

Websites for government agencies in Washington, Ohio, Maryland, New York and California were all affected by the hack beginning last weekend, including the Ohio governor’s office and the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, a local ABC News affiliate reported.

In each instance the affected website was altered to display a greeting attributed to a hacking group known as “Team System Dz” and rife with pro-Islamic State messages and imagery.

“You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries,” the perpetrators wrote after breaching the website of Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Republican presidential hopeful.

Other websites affected by the hack were defaced throughout the week to include graphic images of civilian casualties accompanied by messages rejecting U.S. military action.

“Is this the humanity that you claim, or is life irrelevant to Muslims?” some websites were altered to read. “Do not imagine that these actions against the Muslims will pass you and we will forget what you did to the Arab and Muslim peoples all over the world.”

The defacement concludes: “I Love Islamic state.”

Federal authorities at the FBI’s San Francisco field office are spearheading an investigation into the hacks, CNN reported Tuesday. Team System Dz continued to claim new victims into the week, however, compromising websites from coast-to-coast and beyond: New Zealand announced Wednesday that its national department of basic education had shut down its website after being similarly defaced, and an agency spokesperson decried the hack as inciting “hatred and violence.”

Every one of the hijacked websites analyzed earlier this week was running an outdated and vulnerable version of the same content management platform, DotNetNuke, Ars Technica reported. DotNetNuke did not respond to Ars Technica’s requests for comment.

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