ISIS hacks IW website

Published 9:19 pm Saturday, January 17, 2015

By Cain Madden

Special to the News-Herald

A group claiming to be allied with the Islamist extremist group ISIS — the Islamist State of Iraq and Syria — hacked the Isle of Wight County government website sometime on Friday, leaving behind messages and videos.

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Don Robertson, the county’s public information officer, said officials were made aware of the hack sometime around 9:30 p.m. on Friday.

“We are not sure who the individual or group is, but there was information advocating ISIS,” he said. “It pretty much [directed] people to ISIS, as opposed to our normal information.”

Robertson said that when county officials learned of the hack, they reported the threat to the information technology staff, which, in turn, reported it to the third party vendor, who hosts the website. By 10:30 p.m., Robertson said the website was back up and running as normal.

“They were able to go in and delete the bad information,” he said of IOW’s IT staff.

As Friday was a state holiday, Lee-Jackson Day, the county government staff and officials had the day off, so no one is sure exactly what time the hack occurred, Robertson said.

Team System Dz claimed to be responsible for the hack on the website. has identified Team System Dz as a group of anti-Israeli Arab teenagers. According to zone-h, the group has been responsible for defacing more than 2,800 websites around the world, as of Jan. 15.

The Daily Press reported that the FBI had told county officials there were probably around 100 other U.S. websites that had been compromised by the same organization.

The content the group typically leaves behind includes pro-ISIS literature, pictures of scimitars, countdowns in blood, videos and blaring Islamic music.

“There was some information in Arabic or some other similar language — it was clear the site had been hacked,” Robertson said. “I don’t recall any pictures, but there was a box for video. I didn’t click the video.”

This is the second time the site has been hacked. Robertson said he believes the previous time was around Thanksgiving. He said he was not sure if it was by the same group.

ISIS, which has renamed itself Islamic State, is reportedly responsible for beheadings and other terrorist actions, with the aim of creating an Islamic State across the Sunni areas of Iraq and Syria.

Isle of Wight County’s website is located at