Hackers attack Watton Town Council’s website to show burning US flag

A screenshot of Watton Town Council's website after it was struck by hackers.

A screenshot of Watton Town Council's website after it was struck by hackers. - Credit: Archant

Hackers claiming to campaign against intervention in the Middle East struck a mid Norfolk council's website over the holidays.

Watton Town Council's web page, which has returned to normal following the attacks, had been changed to show a dancing man and burning American flag.

The council said there was no data available on the website which was not already in the public domain.

Town clerk Jane Scarrott said: 'We have got it sorted now and hopefully that is it.

'Everything that is on the website is in the public domain so nothing can come from this.

'I have heard of other parishes being targeted before. It is annoying to deal with as much as anything.'

The incident has been reported to the police and appears to have been caused by hackers calling themselves Gang Dz, which appears to have links to Algeria, and PsyCo Miste, whose Facebook profile says he is from Tunisia.

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Gang Dz have claimed a number of defacements on the web in recent weeks with targets including a car garage in Montreal, a film's website, a football preview page and a gym in Lurgan, Northern Ireland.

Police are investigating the incident after they were contacted by a member of the public on December 28, reporting the hack.

A Norfolk Police spokesperson said: 'Organisations are reminded that they should check their website encryption and security on a regular basis and should report any offences to police to investigate.'

On other webpage defacements carried out by the group they state that 'you have no right to use your force (land or air)' and add that they do not accept the killings of Muslims.

Watton and Breckland councillor Keith Gilbert said: 'I think it is a training session.

'They have to start somewhere so I have a feeling it is a training exercise.

'It was a bit of a surprise though.

'We are part of the .gov network so it does make you wonder how secure things are, although Watton is a low priority of course.

'You wonder why they are causing this mischief to us.'

•Have you experienced problems with computer hackers? Write to doug.faulkner@archant.co.uk