Malaysia Airlines website ‘Hacked by Cyber Caliphate’

Screenshot from malaysiaairlines.com/my/en.html
The website of the troubled Malaysia Airlines has sustained an attack by the Lizard Squad – a group allegedly aligning itself with ISIS. “Hacked by Cyber Caliphate” appears on the homepage underneath a picture of a well-dressed lizard in a top hat.

The entire screen of the homepage is black, save for the photo of the lizard, which is also the symbol of a group that hacked the Sony PlayStation and X-Box networks last month.

"Hacked by LIZARD-SQUAD – OFFICIAL CYBER CALIPHATE" appears below the lizard, while the internet browser tab delivers a cruel joke: “404 – Plane Not Found”, referring to both the internet error code and the still-missing flight MH370, which took 239 people with it.

For a short while before the screen was changed to black, the homepage instead showed a photo of an Airbus 380. The title of the page was then "ISIS will prevail”, referring to the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists – a group now infamous for its unparalleled brutality in Iraq and Syria.

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) managed very briefly to gain control of its website, removing the picture with the plane. The blacked-out picture with the lizard appeared on the homepage an hour later, as the hackers regained control. The only real difference between the two versions of the hack, aside from the picture, was that the reference to the Lizard Squad appeared only later, on the blacked-out homepage.

The hackers earlier tweeted that they were “cooking up something special.” They also promised to do the following:

Another message on Twitter claimed that user information is not safe.

MAS has not made a full statement yet, but did acknowledge “the difficulty” and gave alternative URLs for users to book flights and check in.

It remains unclear why Malaysia Airlines became the target of the hack.

However, rising numbers of Malaysian citizens joining up with the terrorist group in the Middle East have been seen. Authorities report 120 arrests of people suspected of harboring ISIS sympathies last week. Those included people traveling to Syria, allegedly to fight. An August revelation by a Malaysian intelligence official also detailed instances of Malaysian women traveling to warzones to provide ‘comfort’ for the militants.