Iraq government websites hacked in 'largest operation' yet
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Unknown hackers highjacked close to 30 Iraqi government websites in the “largest” cyberattack of its kind for the country, security specialists said on Friday.
Sites targetted include those run by the ministries of interior, defense, foreign affairs, health, national security, as well as the Iraqi domain of Google.
The attackers left a black background on the hacked sites, with a number of statements on them, which were repeated in more detail on a Facebook page that appears to belong them.
One specialist, Samer al-Ahmad, suggested to Kurdistan 24 that the hacking may have been carried out by implementing changes to website data that would route web users to a different webpage, on which the group left the messages.
Ahmad added that the cyberattack occurred at midnight on Thursday and was not reported until later on Friday morning. The government agencies were able to restore some sites quickly, while others experienced issues for a more extended period of time.
The government websites now appear to have been suspended.
It is not clear whether the hacking operation endangered user data, or important government information, especially with regard to the websites of the ministries of interior, defense and others.
On Friday, the National Security Service vowed in a statement to “punish” the perpetrators of the cyberattack, denying that its own site had been compromised.
“We pledge to bring to justice those who have tried to infiltrate the sites of a number of government institutions,” the agency said.
Speaking to Kurdistan 24, one cybersecurity specialist described the operation as the “largest” of its kind. Government websites have been hacked previously but on a considerably smaller scale.
Editing by John J. Catherine