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Official government website hacked by entity claiming to be Islamic State

Official government website hacked by entity claiming to be Islamic State

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Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, Commerce and Information Technology Camillo Gonsalves is awaiting completion of a report from the Information Technology Service Division (ITSD), following the unauthorized access of the official website of the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines (www.gov.vc) by an entity claiming to be Islamic State Hackers.{{more}}

Persons visiting the website last Sunday evening between 7:45 and 9:20 p.m. were startled to behold, on landing on the page, an image of an individual operating a machine gun from the back of a truck with a “Hacked by Moroccanwolf – Islamic State” message.

Below the image, the following message appeared: “US and NATO Forces are involved in Organised butchery of Human race since it’s inception. They overthrow governments of sovereign nations and they undermine, threaten, refuse to recognise and seek to destroy democratically elected governments like they are in Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Palestine.

They support dictators as long as they are fulfilling US, EU & NATO interest in the region like they did in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. You speak of Freedom of speech and freedom of expression but you remain silent in the face of a people desire to seek freedom to exist – unless those people are Israeli Zionists! Hypocrisy of this magnitude will bring the chickens home to roost and not peace and security as is your mantra!”

This message remained on the website until approximately 9:20 Sunday evening when the technical team from the ITSD appeared to regain control of the site.

Gonsalves, who is presently in Ecuador attending a meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and Foreign Ministers of ALBA, told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that he has requested an interim report from his technical staff by Monday (yesterday) afternoon and a full report by Friday.

The Minister of Information Technology said he expects the report to say what were the means of penetration of the website; whether other data, emails or resources were compromised; the security measures that were in place at the time of the hacking (and why those measures failed); the measures that need to be put in place going forward (and the cost involved); and any information regarding the source of the attack or the identity of the attacker.

The hacking of the system also forced the Ministry to postpone, until further notice, the launch of the Government’s National Portal, Intranet and E-Archiving System, which had been scheduled to take place yesterday.

The rebuilding of the National Portal and Government Intranet was being undertaken to “increase Government’s web presence locally, regionally and internationally, improve communications among its agencies,” a release said.

The release earlier this month said the Ministry had completed the development of these systems and was conducting the testing necessary to begin operations.

However, a source within the Ministry told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that up to last Thursday, the National Portal, Internet and E-Archiving System was not ready for yesterday’s scheduled launch, and the technical staff had been requested to work on Labour Day (May 1) and over the weekend to complete the project in time for the launch.

SEARCHLIGHT was unable to ascertain whether the team had completed the project at the time the website was hacked.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Godfred Pompey, when contacted yesterday, said the police are also carrying out investigations into the matter in conjuction with the ITSD.

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