ISIS Hackers Deface University Website in Their First Ever Cyberattack on China

ISIS Hackers Deface University Website in Their First Ever Cyberattack on China

An ISIS-affiliated hacker that calls himself “Islamic State Hacker” has defaced the website of the Tsinghua University and has left jihadist messages on some of the site’s pages, as South China Morning Post reports, citing local student newspaper Legal Evening News.

The defacement took place over the weekend and was quickly spotted by the university’s IT staff, who took down the affected website section until they manage to discover the entry point and contain the incident.

Jihadist message left on the student courses portal

All defaced Web pages included a text left by the hacker, a picture of ISIS warriors riding horses into battle, and an audio playing a song in support of the Islamic State’s holy war.

The affected pages contained information on courses and was used only by students and teachers.

Tsinghua University is one of China’s most famous universities, one of the nine members in the elite C9 League of universities, the first where computer science was ever studied in China, and also President Xi Jinping’s alma mater.

Tsinghua is also one of the universities involved in multiple government-backed defense and IT security research projects.

The first Islamic State cyberattack on China

The university has been defaced in the past, but never by ISIS-linked hackers. For that matter, Islamic State hackers have never targeted Chinese websites.

The Islamic State has a presence in China, mainly in the country’s western region of Xinjiang, where the Muslim Uighur minority resides. The Xinjiang region has been the place of multiple confrontations between Chinese authorities and Uighur jihadists in the past.

Chinese officials are accusing the local Muslims of trying to start their own Jihad-type guerilla war, while Uighur representatives say that Chinese officials are oppressing the Muslim population by restricting their rights, starting with the right to practice their faith.

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