The Times of Israel website has been hacked by a Turkish Islamist group calling itself ‘Gazzeye’ or ‘Akincilar’, on Thursday afternoon.
Visitors to the TOI home page found the Turkish flag and a symbol with the name Akincilar, which is also the name of a town and a district of Sivas Province of Turkey.
The Jewish Week online edition, a New York based newspaper, which merged into the Times of Israel site last year, was also hacked in the process.
Cyber-security expert Paul Goldenberg has previously told The New York Jewish Week, “the Jewish community is highly susceptible to these attacks; the threat cannot be underestimated.”
In 2015, Russel Neiss, a technology consultant, told The New York Jewish Week, “This sort of attack should be easily avoidable with only a small amount of prevention by a staff member of the organization with a moderate amount of technological knowledge or an attentive contractor.”
Sruli Shaffren, the sysadmin for JewishPress.com offered a different perspective, “Any site can be hacked. Any server can have hundreds if not thousands of holes. The system administrators and programmers try to close them all, but a hacker has to only find one in order to succeed. That said, there are steps that can be taken, and people should do whatever they can to keep their sites secure.”
The new Times of Israel and Jewish Week home page also offered up verse 2:57 from sūrat l-baqarah (The Cow):
And We shaded you with clouds and sent down to you manna and quails, [saying], “Eat from the good things with which We have provided you.” And they wronged Us not – but they were [only] wronging themselves.