Cyber Caliphate, a group with extremist IS sympathies, has claimed that it hijacked the Malaysia Airlines website, replacing the booking page with pictures showing an error message reading ‘404 – Plane Not Found’
The Wall Street Journal reported that visitors to MalaysiaAirlines.com saw for several hours on Monday a message that said ‘ISIS WILL PREVAIL’ at the top of their browser’s window. The airline’s ticket-booking and other services were unavailable.
Instead, a large picture of a Malaysia Airlines A380 plane and the messages ‘404-Plane Not Found’ and “Hacked by Cyber Caliphate” were displayed.
Scroll down for video
‘ISIS WILL PREVAIL’ was at the top of this browser window which showed ‘404-Plane Not Found’ on it
A lizard with a tuxedo and pipe, sporting a top hat and monocle with the message ‘Hacked by Lizard Squad, Official Cyber Caliphate’ appeared on the Malaysia Airlines website
Later on Monday, the site displayed a different image: a tuxedo-adorned, pipe-smoking lizard sporting a top hat and monocle. ‘Hacked by Lizard Squad, Official Cyber Caliphate,’ it said, giving the Twitter handle for a group called Lizard Squad.
A ‘404’ error message refers to a page that cannot be found, or a dead or broken link. Here the reference is believed to be to the missing flight MH370, which disappeared in March of last year in the Southern Indian Ocean.
In July, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. Both resulted in the deaths of 537 people.
A ‘404’ error message refers to a page that cannot be found, or a dead or broken link
In a surreal twist, the website may have been hacked by a gamers out to settle a score with a US videogame company.
The Wall Street Journal said that both images displayed the Twitter handles for the accounts of what appear to be two men who work for UMG Events LLC, a company based in Roxana, Illinois that hosts videogame events across the US.
“We were not involved in any website being hacked in any way,” one of the men, Chris Tuck, told The Wall Street Journal via a direct message on Twitter.
The airline said that passenger data was secure despite the cyber attack on its website
‘The group who did it is a group of kids who aren’t fond of our company,’ he said. ‘I presume they added our names to either scare us or warn us.’
The Twitter timeline for Lizard Squad revealed recent tweets directed at the two men about the alleged banning from events of certain gamers.
On its Facebook page, Malaysia Airlines said: ‘We confirm that our Domain Name System (DNS) has been compromised where users are re-directed to a hacker website when www.malaysiaairlines.com URL is keyed in.’
The cyber attack is based on the missing flight MH370, which disappeared in March of last year in the Southern Indian Ocean
By Monday evening, the website of the airline was up and running as normal.
The airline said that passenger data was secure despite the cyber attack and that it had not affected bookings.