NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The website for a newspaper run by Old Dominion University students seemed to have been hacked Monday by a self-proclaimed Muslim group.
The newspaper, Mace & Crown, has not confirmed the hacking, but posted this message on social media around 3 a.m. Monday: “Our website is currently offline. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
The newspaper’s website was replaced by a red emblem and a message in red and gray text atop a black background. The text claimed the website was hacked by a group calling itself “El Moujahidin Team.”
The message stated the group would continue hacking websites to draw attention to “the message of our Palestine and all Arabs.” It also stated, “We Dont Accept Killing Muslims Evry Where, Stop Killing US.”
The text seemed to indicate the hackers were located in Algeria and used the hashtag “#Free Hamza BendelladJ” to reference an Algerian national extradited to the U.S. in 2013 for federal cyber crime charges.
Beneath the text were links to the group’s Facebook and Twitter pages. A tweet posted by the group Thursday morning stated “El Moujahidin with ISIS.”
ISIS, stands for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a radical Islamic militant group that has seized large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria. It’s advance — marked by mass killings and beheadings — has sparked outage across the world and prompted U.S. military intervention.
Despite the Mace & Crown being independent from the university (hosted by a commercial server, not the university’s domain), a school spokeswoman said ODU’s IT staff was reaching out to newspaper staff to help.
Similar hackings occurred with Isle of Wight County’s website in January and with Greenbrier Christian Academy’s website in March. Colonial Williamsburg’s website was also hacked in March, by a group claiming to be pro-ISIS.