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Ohio government sites hacked with pro-Islamic State message

The sites were defaced with a message threatening President Donald Trump.

TOPSHOT-IRAQ-CONFLICT-MOSUL
TOPSHOT - A member of the Iraqi forces walks past a mural bearing the logo of the Islamic State (IS) group in a tunnel that was reportedly used as a training centre by the jihadists, on March 1, 2017, in the village of Albu Sayf, on the southern outskirts of Mosul. Iraqi forces launched a major push on February 19 to recapture the west of Mosul from the Islamic State jihadist group, retaking the airport and then advancing north. / AFP PHOTO / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)
Ahmad Al-rubaye / AFP/Getty Images

Government websites in the state of Ohio on Sunday were defaced with pro-Islamic State messages.

The hacked websites displayed a message, purportedly from IS supporters, against a black-and-white background reminiscent of the IS flag.

The website of Ohio Governor John Kasich was one of the targets of the attacks, and it was reportedly down for maintenance for some time on Sunday before coming back online. A picture of the message was posted by Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel.

"You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries," said the message, which also included a call to prayer and finished: "I love Islamic state."

Defacing of websites has long been a tactic for hackers looking to make a political statement, or simply to assert their ability to do so. It was a common practice for, among others, hacktivists known collectively as Anonymous to protest things like cybersecurity legislation or human rights abuses, or sometimes in a blending of moralizing and mischief-making. The Islamic State and other terrorist groups, meanwhile, have used social media for recruiting, communications and other activities.

Other affected websites included the Ohio Office of Health Transformation, the Ohio Department of Medicaid, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, the Ohio Inspector General and the website belonging to Ohio first lady Karen Kasich.

"All affected servers have been taken offline and we are investigating how these hackers were able to deface these websites," Tom Hoyt, chief communications officer for Ohio's Department of Administrative Services, told CBS News. "We also are working with law enforcement to better understand what happened."

Representatives for Gov. Kasich didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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