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US government websites hacked with pro-Islamic State rant

US government websites have been hacked with a message supporting the Islamic State terrorist group.

A message posted on the website of Ohio's Republican governor John Kasich said: "You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries."

The message, left by "Team System DZ", ended: "I love the Islamic state."

The same message infiltrated government websites in the town of Brookhaven, New York, according to news reports in that state, as well as the website for Howard County, Maryland.

The group has claimed responsibility for similar hacks in the past in Richland County, Wisconsin, and in places such as Aberdeen, Scotland, and Sweden.

Several other government websites were hacked in Ohio, including that of first lady Karen Kasich, Medicaid, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, and the Casino Control Commission.

Tom Hoyt, chief communications officer for Ohio's Department of Administrative Services, was among officials who confirmed the hack.

"All affected servers have been taken offline and we are investigating how these hackers were able to deface these websites," he said. "We also are working with law enforcement to better understand what happened."

The hack is part of ongoing cyber-terrorism that has impacted governments and corporations across the globe.

Some see these types of hacks - sometimes called "defacement" - as simply a nuisance, though in some instances, they have been disruptive to work and government life.

But others see cause for alarm. "Wake up freedom-loving Americans. Radical Islam infiltrating the heartland," Josh Mandel, the Ohio treasurer and a Republican candidate for US Senate, said in a tweet on Sunday.

Authors of the website Cryptosphere, which tracks hackers worldwide, have detailed dozens, if not hundreds, of similar attacks in recent years by Team System DZ, which they called a "pro-ISIS hacker crew" based in Algeria.

Impacted websites, they said, have included those for a synagogue in Florida, the student union at the University of New Brunswick in Canada, UK Rugby and a number of sites on Wordpress.

AP

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