‘ISIS-sponsored’ video on NJ schools’ website for 2 hours Monday
BLOOMFIELD — For more than two hours Monday the school district's website hosted an ISIS-sponsored YouTube video, according to district officials.
A post on the district's website Monday afternoon said its hosting service was "a number of companies nationwide" to be hacked by an unknown group early in the morning.
"For about two hours, our web sites displayed an ISIS-sponsored YouTube video," the district statement said.
The hack took place at about 4 a.m., according to the district. At around 6 a.m., the website was pulled down, and around an hour later it was restored to full functionality, according to the district.
The district said the FBI and other agencies were investigating the matter and that "at no time was confidential student or staff data compromised."
SchoolDesk, the company that hosts the website for the district and others, said in its own statement that its received reports starting around 5:30 on Monday morning about pages "displaying an Arabic message and a picture of Saddam Hussein."
At that time, all of its webpages were taken offline, the company said.
The company said a "small file had been injected into the root of one of the SchoolDesk websites." As a result, it said around 800 websites for schools and districts around the country were redirected to "an iFramed YouTube page containing an audible Arabic message, unknown writing, and a picture of Saddam Hussein."
SchoolDesk said since the hacking it has "added multiple layers of redundant protection to prevent this from happening again, as well as taking many additional measures to research how this was accomplished and by whom."
One of the steps the company said it is taking is requiring all users of its websites to change their passwords. The accounts of all users who have not used the site in the past 30 days have been deactivated, SchoolDesk said.
"SchoolDesk is actively working with various local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, on tracking the source of these website intrusions, and we hope to gain additional insight through their assistance and analysis soon," SchoolDesk said.
It wasn't immediately clear if other districts in New Jersey were affected.
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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com