Arizona State Legislature Website Hacked
Hacking and computer crimes continue to become more common. It seems like everyone has the potential to be a target. These hacker groups consider themselves to be activists, trying to spread their message using the internet and technology as their medium. However, they also pose a huge threat to the safety and security of people. Even governments may not be safe from a hack attack.
Legislative officials in Arizona say that one of their sites was hacked by a group just this past Tuesday. Luckily, there appears to be no permanent or lasting damage done to the site. However, this incident demonstrates how lacking some sites can be when it comes to security. If they do not protect themselves, then several sites could be the victims of hacking.
Responsibility for the hack attack was claimed by Malicious Security, an anonymous hacker group. The attack specifically targeted the Arizona Legislative Information Service, azleg.gov.
The group apparently hacked into the “roadmap” that leads to the documents stored in the site, said Mike Braun, executive director for the Arizona Legislative Council.
“To our knowledge, they did nothing destructive at all,” he said. “They went in and copied the roadmap.”
The group posted a link to its work that included a profanity-laced message decrying “ur gov” and then stating, “We still are Anonymous! We do not forgive, we do not forget! U should have expected us!”
This message was immediately followed by the titles of several current pieces of legislature that are being processed in Arizona.
Braun said the hackers were able to get into everything stored on the website since its 1997 launch. “They certainly did get a level deeper than most people get,” he said.
However, the hacking did not affect the Legislature’s internal network, which includes the e-mail system, drafts of bills and other documents, he said.
Technology staffers suspect the hackers entered through one or both of the public entry points to azleg.gov: it’s bill-tracking service or the request-to-speak form. Those functions have been taken down and will remain offline until a security fix is in place, Braun said.
Legislative staffers on Wednesday said that they had not noticed any issues with the site as they went about their daily work. This was the first security breach for the Legislature, and word of it came while Braun was in a staff meeting discussing upgrades to the website.
Azleg.gov provides the public with information about the progress of House and Senate bills, contact information for legislators and calendar information for events at the Capitol.
Both Malicious Security and Anonymous, another group of hackers, tweeted about the breach in the legislature’s website Tuesday afternoon.
In a news release from Malicious Security earlier this year, an anonymous writer said the group would not remove original data from a site they hack, they would only deface it to point out a lack of security. And while they claim this, who is to stop them from stealing the personal, financial, or governmental information from any site they hack? That’s why it’s so important to learn to protect yourselves from these dangerous hackers.