- The hackers replaced the “Welcome to Randolph County” homepage with a graphic of a person in a Guy Fawkes mask holding a protest sign saying “Join the Revolution.”
- A Twitter account with the username ‘VandaTheGod’ has posted a series of tweets that appear to claim responsibility for the hacks.
An international hacker group hacked the website of Randolph County and defaced its homepage with a vulgar anti-government message.
The hackers replaced the “Welcome to Randolph County” homepage with a graphic of a person in a Guy Fawkes mask holding a protest sign saying “Join the Revolution.”
Upon discovery, the County’s IT department launched an investigation and found out that the hacker group gained access to the website at 10:44 PM on Monday and replaced the homepage with the message around 12:22 AM.
- Randolph County Manager Hal Johnson said that no information was compromised and no ransom amount was demanded to restore the website.
- The message was removed from the homepage and the website was subsequently restored back to normal.
- However, the message was seen by many citizens who contacted the county and reported it to the news media.
“Our IT department was alerted by system safeguards and took quick action to remove the message, but many citizens saw the hacked message,” Johnson said in an email sent to the Randolph County Board of Commissioners, Government Technology reported.
‘VandaTheGod’ behind the hack
A hacker group that goes by the name ‘VandaTheGod’ is speculated to be responsible for the hack. Johnson noted that the hacker group based out of Brazil is hacking government websites and at least 59 other government sites have been targeted in the past week.
A Twitter account with the username ‘VandaTheGod’ posted a series of tweets that appear to claim responsibility for the hacks. The majority of the tweets include a picture of the message posted on the websites.
What actions were taken?
- Upon discovery, the county officials reported the hack to the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement authorities.
- The N.C SBI forwarded the case to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. DHS is currently investigating the incident.
- Meanwhile, the county’s IT team is taking corrective measures and enhancing its cybersecurity system in order to avoid such incidents from happening in the future.
“They've conducted a forensic search on our computers to determine how they were able to access a well-defended computer operation. They've identified that and have taken steps so that it could not happen again,” Jonhson said, Fox 8 News reported.