Multiple Maldives government websites were taken down early this morning after an online hacker defaced pages with messages raising awareness of atrocities in the Syrian civil war.
“This site has been hacked because of the world’s silence of three years of massacres that occur in Syria and this is still happening,” read the message attributed to a group called the Syrian Revolution Soldiers.
Responsibility for the hacking was claimed by Dr. SHA6H – an anonymous figure who has claimed responsibility for the infiltration of hundreds of similar sites across the globe over the past two years.
Neither the President’s Office nor the National Centre for Information Technology (NCIT) were prepared to comment on the story at the time of press, although Minivan News understands that sites targetted were hosted on the servers of national telecoms firm Dhiraagu.
Dhiraagu’s facebook page acknowledged that there had been a “malicious attack” on some of the sites hosted on its server, assuring that it was working to restore affected sites.
Online accounts used by Dr. SHA6H claimed to have targetted over 200 Maldivian government websites, while the defaced website archive site Zone-H listed details of 117 Maldives government sites successfully infiltrated this morning.
“This security breach is not to make damage. It is only to deliver a specific message to the world,” read the posted message, along with a video detailing atrocities committed during the Syrian conflict.
The list also shows the hacker to have successfully targetted nine Maldivian government website in January last year.
Zone-H’s list of sites hacked by Dr. SHA6H show the attack on the Maldivian government sites to have been one of the hackers most effective attempts to infiltrate government sites, with a July 2013 attack on the Mexican IT infrastructure the only comparable incident on record.
All the sites affected – including the Ministries of Tourism, Foreign Affairs, Education, Housing, Environment, and the Maldives Monetary Authority – were still down at the time of publication.
The intrusion of Dr. SHA6H marks the second time the civil war in Syria has made headlines in the Maldives this week, after reports that two Maldivian nationals had died in fighting after having travelled to the middle east to fight forces loyal soldiers to Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.