MONTREAL — Quebec provincial police are investigating the apparent hacking of the Terrasse-Vaudreuil town website by a group that claims to have connections with Islamic extremists.
On Thursday morning, the 2,000 or so residents of the small town on Île Perrot, just west of Montreal, woke up to find that the municipality’s official website now featured a message from a group claiming to be the Middle East Cyber Army.
The main page of the site featured text that read: “We are Muslims. Quran is our book. In Allah we trust. For Allah we work. Screw you Charlie Hebdo. Islam is and always will dominate!!! Islam is the truth!!! That’s why Islam is the fastest growing religion!!! #OPFrance.”
The message was signed by “The greatest – AnaCoNdA – kh.mar.404 – RebelGhost DX – Scream4.0.4 – Silent Killer – Hamooda El Bess – & ALL MUSLIMS.”
The hacking was apparently first noticed by a local journalist on Thursday evening at around 9 p.m., and the website’s regular content was restored early Friday morning.
In December last year, the Little Rock School District website was hacked by a group also claiming to be the Middle East Cyber Army.
#OPFrance appears to be one of the hashtags used by hackers who carried out what has been described as the “unprecedented surge” of cyberattacks against thousands of French websites in the aftermath of the shootings in Paris.
READ MORE: France: 19,000 cyber-attacks in last week
The head of cyberdefense for the French military,Adm. Arnaud Coustilliere, said about 19,000 French websites had faced cyberattacks, some carried out by well-known Islamic hacker groups, including MECA: Middle East Cyber Army, Fallaga team and Cyber Caliphate.
— With a file from The Associated Press