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St. Vincent & The Grenadines Seeks To Restore Website Following Purported ISIS Hack
PHOTO: The St. Vincent and the Grenadines website was hacked by a group claiming ties to ISIS. (Courtesy of Caribbean360.com).
The St. Vincent & the Grenadines government is reportedly working to resume control of its website, which was hacked late Sunday by a group claiming affiliation with the radical Islamic Stategroup (ISIS).
International news accounts report the usual interface of www.gov.vc was replaced with a photograph of a man firing a machine gun from the back of a pickup truck, with the headline “Hacked by Moroccanwolf – Islamic State.”
The photo includes a caption claiming United States and NATO forces are involved in “organized butchery” of the human race. The statement also accuses the organizations of “overthrowing democratically elected governments” in countries including Syria and Iraq, and of “supporting dictatorships as long as they are fulfilling U.S., E.U. and NATO interest in the region.”
The message was signed “Islamic State Hackers.” The site later went offline and remained down Tuesday. The St. Vincent and Grenadines visitor website remains online. The Morroccanwolf group has reportedly hacked the websites of organizations ranging from a real estate firm in Alabama to the Turkmenistan embassy in Belarus.
Media reports in the St. Vincent and Grenadines region claim pirating of the country’s website could have been prevented through “basic security protocols” that reportedly went missing.
An SVG-based Internet consultant, Ayodele Pompey, said in a LinkedIn.com post he doubts ISIS hacked the website and instead blamed a “script kiddie,” i.e., an ISIS-supporting individual “who just hack[s] for fun and fame.”
He also emphasized that maintaining a government website “not only means updating [software] but also updating all the modules, components, plugins and custom code that may not work post-updating.”
Although even software that is up-to-date can be hacked said Pompey, “from my observation, [the St. Vincent site software] wasn't up-to-date.” However he notes, “The largest websites and networks in the world are hacked.”
Nevertheless the small Caribbean nation’s government has struggled in recent years to respond effectively to issues with broad national implications, including the much-delayed launch of a new international airport.
Originally slated to open in 2011, the facility is scheduled to open later this year, a development Glen Beache, CEO of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority, recently called “embarrassing.”
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