Hackers hit business websites with ISIS propaganda

Several companies had their websites hacked with ISIS propaganda.
A hacker claiming to be part of ISIS hit several central Indiana businesses this weekend.

The Indianapolis branch of the Department of Homeland Security is looking into the hacks, which defaced websites with an ISIS image and propaganda. Most of the sites have been taken down, but the question remains, "Who is behind the hackings and what did they get to?"

The attacks started Sunday night on stores in California, restaurants and businesses in Pennsylvania and an Ohio race track owned by NASCAR's Tony Stewart. The sites contained the same message, "hacked by Islamic State...We are everywhere."

"We don't believe it was a direct threat, I mean, it was, they defaced their website and put their propaganda on it," said Gary Coons, Chief of the Indianapolis Division of Homeland Security.

Coons says several local businesses also had their websites hacked.

"They search for vulnerabilities within websites and once they find a specific vulnerability they're looking for, then they go after that site," he said. "So being that it's five different states, it's pretty random."

Among the sites hacked was the page for the Indianapolis Downtown Artist and Dealers Association (IDADA). The group puts on events known as "First Fridays."

With its website down, the group released a statement, which read, in part, "We are working with the FBI and proper authorities to deal with this in the best possible way...We ask for patience as we get the website cleaned of this nonsense and rebuilt."

"We're not sure it's tied to ISIS. We're too early in the investigation to know where it came from and who perpetrated this hacking," Coons said.

IDADA says its members' information wasn't compromised and Homeland Security believes it to be a random attack. The organization's website was still down Monday evening.

While Hoosiers should always be on alert, Coons says, "We don't have any known threats at this time."

The Indianapolis Division of Homeland Security is working with the FBI and departments in other states to sort out the attacks.