US government websites hacked with pro-Daesh rant

A message posted on the website of Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich said, “You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries.” A message posted on the hacked website of Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich said, “You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries.” (Courtesy: Twitter)
Updated 26 June 2017
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US government websites hacked with pro-Daesh rant

COLUMBUS, Ohio: Government websites, many of them in Ohio, were hacked Sunday with a message that purports to be supportive of the Daesh terrorist group.
A message posted on the website of Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich said, “You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries.”
The message, left by “Team System Dz,” also ended, “I love the Islamic state.”
The same message also infiltrated government websites in the town of Brookhaven, New York, according to news reports in that state, as well as the website for Howard County, Maryland. In the past, the group also claimed responsibility for similar hacks in the past in Richland County, Wisconsin, and in places such as Aberdeen, Scotland, and Sweden.
Several other government websites were hacked in Ohio, including that of first lady Karen Kasich, Medicaid, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and the Casino Control Commission.
Tom Hoyt, chief communications officer for Ohio’s Department of Administrative Services, was among Ohio officials who confirmed the hack.
“All affected servers have been taken offline and we are investigating how these hackers were able to deface these websites,” he said. “We also are working with law enforcement to better understand what happened.”
He said the hacking in Ohio happened at about 11 a.m. EDT. He hoped the websites would be up and running sometime Monday.
The websites in Brookhaven and Howard County also remained down on Sunday. When asked about the outage on the Brookhaven site, a spokeswoman who answered the phone at the New York town’s police department simply offered a “no comment.”
The hack is part of ongoing cyberterrorism that has impacted governments and corporations across the globe.
Some see these types of hacks — sometimes called “defacement” — as simply a nuisance, though in some instances, they have been disruptive to work and government life.
But others see cause for alarm. “Wake up freedom-loving Americans. Radical Islam infiltrating the heartland,” Josh Mandel, the Ohio treasurer and a Republican candidate for US Senate, said in a tweet Sunday.
Authors of the website “Cryptosphere,” which tracks hackers worldwide, have detailed dozens, if not hundreds, of similar hacks in recent years by the so-called Team System DZ, which they called a “pro-ISIS hacker crew” and claim are based in Algeria.
Impacted websites, they said, have included those for a synagogue in Florida, the student union at the University of New Brunswick in Canada, for UK Rugby and a number of websites on Wordpress.


Mauritania’s electoral commission confirms Ghazouani win

Updated 24 June 2019
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Mauritania’s electoral commission confirms Ghazouani win

  • The result had been widely expected
  • The election paves the way for the first peaceful transfer of power since independence from France in 1960

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania: Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, a retired general who served as defense minister before being picked as the chosen successor to Mauritania’s outgoing president, won the weekend election by a large margin, the country’s electoral commission announced.
The result had been widely expected and was swiftly confirmed after Ghazouani claimed victory Saturday evening within hours of polls closing.
The election paves the way for the first peaceful transfer of power since independence from France in 1960, though retiring President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz had a hand in choosing his successor. Aziz was barred from seeking a third term under Mauritania’s constitution.
Ghazouani received 52 percent of the vote, while Biram Dah Abied, a human rights activist who has campaigned against slavery in the West African nation, received nearly 19 percent, according to the electoral commission.
Mauritania, a desert nation and moderate Islamic republic, has managed to avoid the spillover in violence from neighboring Mali that has plagued Burkina Faso and Niger.
Mauritania, though, has suffered five coups since independence, and has been led by military rulers for much of that time. Aziz himself was head of the presidential guard when he seized power in a 2008 coup, although he said he did so to prevent a return to repressive military rule.
He then won a landslide election the following year that his opponents decried as a fraudulent “electoral coup.” Most opposition parties boycotted the 2014 election, when Aziz won 82 percent of the vote according to official results.
Mauritania was the last country in the world to abolish slavery in 1981 but did not criminalize it until 2007. The United States ended trade benefits with Mauritania late last year, saying that the country is not making sufficient progress toward combating forced labor, including slavery. The Mauritanian government, however, denies that slavery is widespread in the country.