Nationalist Hackers From Turkey Cause Chaos, Deface Dozens of Sites

Cybercrime is an effective weapon for a number of different governments, hacktivists, and nationalist groups trying to steal information or embarrass selected targets – and it tends to garner attention.  Groups such as Anonymous and the Lizard Squad may be able to attract a lot of attention, but that doesn’t mean other public cybercriminal attempts go unnoticed.   But perhaps nowhere is hacktivism causing as much controversy and chaos as in the war-torn Middle East.

One of the latest politically motivated hacks in the regiion came courtesy of Alsancak Tim, a nationalist Turkish hacker group.  The group recently defaced the websites of over 40 high level political targets.

The following image appeared on a number of different appeared on a wave of websites on Saturday morning:

What greets visitors to websitese hacked by Alsancak Tim
The rough English translation of the posted message is: 

On us, the sword withdrawal of our homeland, unless entered, unless long-suffering nation, unless anyone of us does damage to our homeland against our religion a bad idea to have all of the countries of virtual war will be opened in the Turks and tested my patience!)

The compromised websites are temporarily unusable.  The attackers’ subsitute page provides links to the Alsancak Tim forum and the group’s Facebook page.  The forum is fairly active but unless you speak Turkish, it may not be a valuable read.

[Image Source: Hack Haberi]
Alsancak Tim previously targeted the Ghana government, India’s Thapar University, and other select political targets with similar politically-motivated cyber-vandalism.

Such attacks may annoy users, but by targeting promininent websites – including the online presences of governments, universities, and other well known organizations — the hackers are sending a powerful, albeit likely illegal message.  It’s just the latest trend in a confusing digital geopolitical environment where one’s offline stands may impact their online presence.