Site for New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority Hacked by ISIS Sympathizers
The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority website was hacked either late-Saturday night or Sunday morning. A pro-terrorist message was posted on the site. It is unknown how long the message had been on the site when it was taken down, but the site’s security had been restored by early Sunday afternoon, Eastern Standard Time.
On Monday, the redevelopment agency said no confidential information was compromised durign the cyber-attack. New Jersey law enforcement agencies are working together to determine who is behind the security breach. While the CRDA would not say which (if any) federal agencies were involved, FBI Newark said it was aware of the cyber-attack.
No Files Were Compromised
The agency released a statement today discussing the brief hack of the website. The statement said, “Immediately upon the brief hacking of our public website this weekend, CRDA staff responded promptly, took the appropriate action and returned the website to its normal functionality. No files or confidential information were compromised.”
The site is operating as normal at present.
Unknown If Islamic State Was Involved
Investigators are trying to determine if the hack was done by supports of the Islamic State. The message posted said that the hackers were Muslim and loved both jihad and ISIS. The message went on to read, “A message to all peoples of the world, especially governments. Islamic State List to restore the rights of Muslims who have been killed by your governments savage and unjust.”
The message added that Islamic State would restore dignity for Muslims, purge the land of hypocrites and infidels, and otherwise send people to “dwell in cemetaries”. The posting appeared to have been written by a non-English speaker or by an online robot, because it had run-on sentences and a jumble of words at times. It ended with an expletive curse pronounced against the United States and Israel.
Team System DZ Claims Credit
Team System DZ took credit for the attack. The group is a hacking community which is thought to have taken part in hundreds of cyber-attacks over the past several years.
Cyber-attacks are not uncommon, though most of the famous hackers tend to seek social justice or bring injustice to light. For instance, the Anonymous group brought several cases to prominence, because local officials looked the other way in order to protect favorite sons.
A case where a high school girl was raped on camera by football players in a small town in the American Midwest is such a case. After the local sheriff seemed unmotivated to charge the players, Anonymous hacked the alleged perpetrators’ cellphones and posted evidence of the crime to the world. It got picked up by the social media and the sheriff’s hand was forced.
Zamansky: The First Such Attack
Elaine Zamansky, a spokeswoman for the CRDA, said that this was the first time the website had been hacked. The CRDA is a New Jersey state agency which runs the Atlantic City Tourism District. The agency uses money from the Atlantic City casino industry to fund housing projects and economic development in the area.
Las Vegas Sands Cyber-Attack
This is not the first time a gaming-related American website has been the target of a cyber-attack for political reasons. In February 2014, the official website of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation was hacked. The player database was hacked, requiring law enforcement in Nevada to work with the FBI to determine what had happened.
Eventually, it was determined that the Iranian government was behind the cyber-attack. The Las Vegas Sands Corporation was founded by Sheldon Adelson, a Jewish-American who is vocal about his support for the state of Israel. Adelson, who also owns media assets in Israel, is person friends with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Months before the cyber-attack, Sheldon Adelson had called for the Israeli Defense Force to launch airstrikes against the Iranian nuclear research program, which has alarmed people in the United States, Israel, and other nearby states in the Middle East.
As for the “ISIS sympathizers”, it continues to amaze me, like most Americans, that people living in the United States can compare the free lifestyle offered here and somehow sympathize with a group which would bring tyranny, oppression, and violence to the vast majority of people they encountered–and most likely the sympathizers, too.
No doubt, Americans can be obnoxious and the United States government is sometimes too militaristic, but the country also has done a lot of good in the world. The same cannot be said of ISIS, which seems to have no redeeming qualities.