The UNB Student Union and the university as a whole had nothing to do with Monday night’s hacking incident, say officials with the website provider.
The UNBSU website was only one of several websites hacked on Monday night after there was a security breach on the host external server by an organization with ISIS connections.
The website provider is Informative Computer Solutions, a company based in Saint John. One of their servers was compromised by a group called Team System DZ on Monday night, affecting between four and six websites.
Jon Quinn, director of public relations at Informative Computer Solutions, said that the server wasn’t targeted specifically. On the Team System DZ Facebook page, which has since been taken down, the organization posted a list of the websites they’d hacked.
“The list was thousands long so this wasn’t targeting against UNB or the Student Union or Canada,” Quinn said.
“It was just what they do is they scan through the different sites and say ‘This one’s using this plugin, this platform or this software. We know how to compromise that so we’re going to target the site.’ It has nothing to do with UNB in particular.”
The UNBSU website server is currently undergoing a security overhaul to right the breach in security. At this point, it does not appear that the website was targeted.
“The people who defaced the website also did the same thing to a number of other websites across the continent. It was a case of someone taking advantage of whatever web pages were vulnerable at the time, not a target attack against us specifically,” said Greg Bailey, president of the UNBSU.
The staff of Informative Computer Solutions is now in the process of fixing the security breach.
“[The websites] have all been cleaned so it was actually one file on the server that was compromised so it was a pretty simple fix. We’ve just gone in and updated it to a new server just making sure that everything was the current version of software plugins and changed passwords as well,” Quinn said.
The website purported to have been hacked by “Team System DZ” and included the words “i love you ISIS” on Monday night.
On a black background under red text that read “A message to all the population and the government, especially,” rolling text included such passages as “This time is a time of Islam and victory and lift the injustice for Muslims and the elimination of America and the allies of the infidels Will not keep silent about one inch of the land of the Muslims. Will not keep silent about one drop of blood of Muslims. Will not keep silent about the symptoms of women and children. Today retrace the pride of Islam and Muslims.”
Approximately two hours after the hack was first noticed, the UNBSU website went back up.
Quinn said that overall the incident wasn’t an isolated problem.
“This was just a general hack. There was nothing really complex, there was no targeting involved. We were one of 10,000 sites around the world that was hacked by this group in the past two weeks so it had nothing to do with the university,” he said.