This is what greeted visitors to the www.gov.vc website earlier this week (Photo: 360Caribbean.com)
Instead of beautiful pictures of beaches and crystal clear waters, visitors to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines website earlier this week were treated to a picture of a terrorist sitting atop a pickup truck, firing a machine gun across a barren landscape.
That’s because late Sunday night a hacker (or hackers) called “Moroccanwolf,” claiming to be affiliated with radical Islamic terrorist organization the Islamic State (or ISIS) reportedly took control of the island country’s www.gov.vc website. As of Wednesday morning, both that site and www.tourism.gov.vc were still offline, though officials are apparently taking steps to regain control.
According to reports, the photo included a statement that the United States and NATO are involved in “organized butchery” of the human race and that they “seek to destroy democratically elected governments like they are in Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Palestine.”
St. Vincent (Photo: Thinkstock)
So why would the Islamic Sate hack the St. Vincent website of all places? Perhaps because they could. According to an expert who spoke to a local St. Vincent website www.iwnsvg.com, even basic protocols to protect against a domain takeover could have prevented the debacle.
Still, some experts say it is more likely an Islamic State sympathizer who just hacked the site for fun and fame, rather than the Islamic State group itself.
This week the Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack at a Texas venue that was hosting a contest to draw the Prophet Mohammed. Officials say it is too early to determine whether the shooters, who were killed, did indeed have a firm link to the terrorist group.