THE MALAYSIA AIRLINES website has been hacked by someone claiming to be from the notorious Lizard Squad - Official Cyber Caliphate which says that it supports Islamist terror group, ISIS.
Visitors to the site were greeted by a '404 Plane not found' message and a 'Hacked by Lizard Squad - Official Cyber Caliphate' warning when trying to view the home page.
The homepage also showed a photograph of a lizard in a top hat and tuxedo. Initially the words 'ISIS will prevail' appeared in the browser tab for the page, but that disappeared soon after.
Malaysia Airlines confirmed in a statement that the site had been hacked but said that customer bookings and data were not compromised.
The airline said that the site's Domain Name System was compromised so that "users are redirected to a hacker website".
However, Malaysia Airlines insisted that its web servers are not affected and that the website itself had not been hacked.
"At this stage, Malaysia Airlines' web servers are intact. The airline has resolved the issue with its service provider and the system is expected to be fully recovered within 22 hours," the firm said in a statement.
"The matter has been reported to CyberSecurity Malaysia and the Ministry of Transport."
The "temporary glitch" does not affect customer bookings, the airline added, and data "remains secured".
It's not clear whether the Lizard Squad - Official Cyber Caliphate is the same Lizard Squad hacker group that launched attacks on console game servers last year, knocking Xbox Live and PlayStation Network servers offline over Christmas.
The hack is yet more bad news for the airline, which is still recovering from the disappearance of MH370 and shooting down of MH17.
It is not clear why Malaysia Airlines has become the target of a cyber attack nor what connection the hack has to Islamic State, which has declared an Islamic caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq.
Lizard Squad claimed on Twitter that it would release data from Malaysia Airlines, but did not specify what information it might have.
Security specialist at ESET, Mark James, explained the hack as a "very brutal attack" as it has a direct impact on the families that have recently been affected by the Malaysia Airlines disasters.
"If the hackers have in fact taken customer data then some very vulnerable people could potentially be the subject of future targeted email attacks," he explained.
"If any personal details customers have been taken then they could be targeted with phishing emails and spam about Malaysia Airlines, which they could be convinced into opening - especially if they are expecting to receive news regarding family and friends from the company."
James also said that it isn't quite clear if the attackers are who we think they are and this isn't just a case of trying to discredit Lizard Squad.
"There is a big difference between targeting a corporate company like Sony with a series of attacks, and launching an attack against a company which will have a impact on families who are in a waiting to hear news about the fate of their relatives," James added. µ
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