The Shed restaurant's website hacked by group claming to be ISIS

Published: Mar. 10, 2015 at 1:22 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 10, 2015 at 1:54 PM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - A South Mississippi restaurant's website was hacked over the weekend by someone claiming to be the terror group ISIS, and The Shed isn't alone. Over the weekend, other businesses across the nation fell victim to the same cyber-attack.

Shed co-owner Brooke Lewis said a customer informed her Saturday afternoon that their restaurant's website had a disturbing message sprawled across the home page.

"We do live music every weekend. They were looking for the live music line up, and they noticed on the homepage the ISIS statement, and they immediately called us," Lewis said.

She was out of town, but the restaurant's web team was already on it, and had the image removed within three hours.

"They found a weak plug-in in one of our graphic areas of our site, and we disabled that and we were back up and running in no time," said Lewis.

The message read: "Hacked by ISIS, we are everywhere." But Lewis and her team don't believe it was directly from the terrorist group.

"We feel that the statement that they put on there referring to ISIS is probably for shock value," said Lewis.

According to Tulane Professor Ralph Russo, a hack like this is very difficult to trace.

"It was probably a bot, which is basically a computer turned into a robot by a hacker. It doesn't necessarily mean ISIS was involved," said Russo.

Professor Russo does feel that because the hackers breached small businesses this should raise awareness that they can be targets for hacking, too. Lewis said The Shed is already working to keep something like this from happening in the future.

"It's a good eye opener just to come back in and do preventive maintenance and make sure that we don't have any other weak plug ins in the website, which they are in the process of doing," said Lewis.

According to Officer Donnie Dobbs with the Biloxi Cyber Crimes unit, some things small businesses can do to protect their websites include not opening emails from recipients you are not familiar with, and making sure your website has good fire wall protection.

The FBI is reportedly investigating some of the incidents of hacking over the weekend.

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