Oswego State’s student-run television station WTOP-10 found itself an involuntary participant in international politics Thursday when the station’s website, WTOP10.com, was hacked to display a homepage supporting oppressed Muslims and Turks in Egypt, Syria and around the world.
Matt Bishop, the general manager of WTOP-10, said he discovered the hack around 11 a.m. Thursday.
Along with WTOP-10 vice president of operations and webmaster Joe Wilcox, Bishop was able to initially fix the problem, but discovered around 8 p.m. Thursday that the site had been hacked again.
Bishop said he is unsure why WTOP-10 specifically was targeted, but believes the hackers may have been looking to hack a radio station in Washington D.C. with the same call letters. Bishop said he contacted the D.C. station and informed them of the hack.
As a result of the hack, the website lost functionality, and displayed an image of a man riding a horse holding a spear with a flag attached to it. “No war” was written above the image, and below it there was a message of support for Muslim and Turks.
The message read: “This is the morale operation for all of the oppressed Muslim and Turkish brothers and sisters in East Turkestan, Kirkuk, Egypt, Syria, and all over the world. Have not forgotten any of you, all of those who fight in the cause of Allah live in our hearts, we follow your way.”
At the bottom of the page there was a link to the Twitter account @CyberWarriorTim.
Bishop said he contacted staff members Thursday and told them what had happened and to change their passwords. Bishop also contacted University Police and informed other campus news organizations, including The Oswegonian.
Bishop signed a waiver Friday allowing the Oswego State Office of Public Affairs to look at WTOP-10’s website and help it regain functionality.
“Some of the experts that we have on campus are going to take a look at our website and help our security out where it seems to be lacking,” Bishop said.
WTOP-10 uses the website for TV-crew sign ups, posting video of broadcasts and live streaming. Bishop said the station is looking into different ways to communicate with staff members to arrange sign ups.
“No other campus organizations have been affected, no other SUNY or other school organizations have been affected,” Bishop said. “So we think it’s just an isolated incident.”