Islamic State Sympathizers Hack Alabama Nonprofit
The Islamic State and its sympathizers have been busy hacking everything from major international media outlets to tiny Washington wineries. Their latest target? A small Alabama nonprofit.
AL.com reported that The Red Barn, a Christian nonprofit that provides education and opportunities for people to work with horses, last Friday had its website attacked by an Islamic State sympathizer using the screenname "moroccanwolf." The hacker posted pro-Islamic State messages such as "Freedom For Palestine And All Muslims," along with an image of a person holding an assault rifle.
It appears that The Red Barn was the victim of bad luck, more than anything. Via AL.com:
The hacker wasn't specifically targeting The Red Barn's website but instead seeking out unsecured websites and seizing them to spread propaganda, said Gary Warner, a nationally known cyber expert who has assisted the FBI and companies nationwide.
Warner works as the director of research and computer forensics in UAB's Computer & Information Sciences department.
"Unfortunately, computers that are able to be controlled by criminals are actually weapons," Warner said. "About every minute somebody's website gets broken into by one of these criminals.
Still, that's little consolation for The Red Barn and its executive director, Joy O'Neal. While the hacked pages have since been taken down, The Red Barn's website remains out of service, forcing the nonprofit to promote its upcoming benefit event—a concert called Birmingham Get Up—solely on social media.
"As a small nonprofit, it really is impacting us," O'Neal told AL.com. "It scares our parents, our students and our families, and it will probably affect our concert. Just the time that we've had to spend to deal with it alone—it will be a week at a minimum, and for a small agency a week of momentum is pretty big."