Earlier this morning, Islamist hackers defaced an air-quality website operated by the UK government and posted a message criticizing Britain for its role in the Iraq War.
The hackers replaced the home page of UK-Air, which is managed by the Department of Food, the Environment, and Rural Affairs, with a black background that framed a picture of Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi dictator.
A message displayed beneath the image read:
“It’s time to remind the British government what you did with Saddam Hussein will not forget. And we are ready to sacrifice with everything, as not to give up Iraq and stay alert for the coming…”
Both the message and picture have since been removed. As of this writing, the UK-Air home page is once again operational.
The Moroccan Islamic Union-Mail (MIUM), a hacker group whose style partially mimics that of Anonymous, has claimed responsibility for the incident on social media.
During the hack, the defaced UK-Air page contained a link that directed visitors to the Facebook page for MIUM. This page, in turn, provides a link to a webpage that contains a video documenting the group’s exploits.
Among other attacks, the MIUM has claimed responsibility for hacking Zambia’s state website. Additionally, the Anti-Defamation League reports that the group hacked American-based Jewish websites before targeting U.S. military sites, including the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, in response to a multinational air campaign directed against the Islamic State terrorist group back in October.
The Moroccan Islamic Union-Mail is not the only group to have recently hacked in support of ISIS. In early May, Tripwire reported on a series of hacks that defaced several American websites. The Sequoia Park Zoo, as well as numerous churches and restaurants, were affected by the incident.
DEFRA has expressed that it is aware of the UK-Air hack but has declined further comment.