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Brookhaven website remains disabled after ISIS group hack

Brookhaven Councilman Dan Panico, left, and Town Supervisor

Brookhaven Councilman Dan Panico, left, and Town Supervisor Edward Romaine speak about the website hacking during a news conference at Town Hall in Farmingville on Monday, June 26, 2017. Credit: James Carbone

The Brookhaven Town website will remain shut down for at least another day as federal and county officials work to determine how it was hacked by a pro-ISIS group.

Brookhaven officials are meeting with Suffolk County security experts who in turn are collaborating with federal officials about the breach, Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said Monday.

A page was added to the official town site on Sunday by a group known as Team System Dz, town officials confirmed.

The group also accessed several Ohio state government department websites, including that of Gov. John Kasich, on Sunday. Team System Dz has hacked several government websites around the world in recent years and boasted about it on the group’s Facebook page.

The messages left on the government websites, including Brookhaven’s, stated, “You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries.” The statements were printed in black and white with red highlighting and accompanied by music.

“They didn’t get into any of our records. None of our records were affected at all,” Romaine said. “They were looking to spread fear. This is an amateur attack to do just that.”

Brookhaven IT officials said the page containing the pro-ISIS propaganda was accessible only through the Team System Dz Facebook page, not directly from the town website.

Romaine said he doesn’t know why Brookhaven was one of the communities targeted.

“We were randomly picked out,” he said. “It’s prankish but more serious because they are enemies of Americans.”

Town Councilman Dan Panico described the messages as “hateful propaganda.”

“This has been going on throughout the country for years,” Panico said.

Brookhaven Town residents said they were surprised by the web attack.

“It’s disconcerting,” said Medford resident Laura Ficarra, 46, adding that nobody knows what the group’s intentions were.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), have offered resources to help, officials said.

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