Cyberattack! The weight of Extremism falls on… a Quebec town of 2,000…?

Terrasse-Vaudreuil's website was compromised for 12 hours

Terrasse-Vaudreuil is just west of Montreal and has about 2,000 people. Not exactly a world class threat to Islamic fundamentalist hackers. So imagine the surprise of town officials when their website was taken over for 12 hours by a group calling itself the Middle East Cyber Army (MECA), with a message that read, “We are Muslims. Quran is our book. In Allah (God) we trust. For Allah we work. Screw you Charlie Hebdo.”

“From what we’ve learned, it has nothing to do with Terrasse-Vaudreuil,” Mayor Michel Bourdeau says. “It’s a combination of circumstances.”

Boudreau stresses that residents’ information is stored on another server and was not accessed.

Earlier in January, French officials reported more than 19,000 French websites had been hacked, some by MECA. The MECA group has also attacked more than 1,000 websites around the world.

“The vast majority of the defaced websites have nothing to do with Charlie Hebdo or even France,” researcher at Toronto’s Citizen Lab Helmi Noman has told the Canadian Press. “The hackers are basically attaching political messages to websites that have security vulnerabilities.”

Hackers are recruiting for attacks on the Charlie Hebdo website, Noman added.

This week, Paris Match magazine interviewed a 19-year-old hacker claiming to belong to MECA. The group’s core, he said, consisted of 10 teenagers.

Quebec provincial police are still investigating the Terrasse-Vaudreuil hacking.

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