Hacked York County website online again

Greg Gross

Someone claiming to be associated with Anonymous, the activist hacker collective, hacked and shut down the York County website for a few hours Friday.

A hacker or hackers disabled the website, replacing the homepage with a manifesto, about noon, which kept the website offline about two hours. The site was again offline between 3:30 and 4:15 p.m.

"The cause of the problem was preliminarily identified as malicious code on the website server that allowed backdoor access to the County’s public-facing website. The code has since been disabled," county spokesman Carl Lindquist said in a news release.

Claiming responsibility: Someone claiming to be linked to the Anonymous collective took responsibility on social media for the attack.

"york county Pennsylvania you are been hacked (sic)" was tweeted from the Twitter account @AnonPlus_Info.

The person behind the Twitter account also claimed to have taken down various other websites, including one for the Parliment of Zimbabwe, offline in recent days.

It is not clear if the person behind @AnonPlus_Info is truly part of the Anonymous collective or a copycat. Messages to the account were not returned.

Limited: Lindquist said the attack appears to have been limited to replacing the homepage with the political message, and it is not believed any personal information was compromised.

"The website is intentionally hosted independently of the county’s information technology networks as a precaution in case of a malicious attack such as the one experienced Friday," he said.

Kyle King, spokesman for the county district attorney's office, said he was made aware of the hack as he was returning to work from lunch.

"I'm sure it's a violation," he said when asked if the hack could lead to a criminal investigation.

However, the issue is which law enforcement agency would have jurisdiction over an investigation, King said.

Determining who has jurisdiction over a cybercrime is often difficult because the perpetrator may not be in the same city, state or nation of the victim.

"To my knowledge we haven't been asked to do anything," King said.

Here is what was posted on the county's website:

"1. We are AnonPlus - Anonymous and this is our manifest.
2. Any person who wants to defend its freedom of information, freedom of the people and the emancipation of the latter from the bondage of the media and of those who govern us, who we use as a tool to implement its dirty purposes, is already part of Anonymous.
Every person who has the will to act is welcome.
We are at war.
3. AnonPlus has a space to share ideas and recruitment open to all: webchat.anonplus.org
4. AnonPlus spreads ideas without censorship, creates space to spread directly through mass defacement, news that the media managed for the consumption of who controls us no place, in order to restore dignity to the function of the media; AnonPlus puts offline sites that actively contribute to the control of the masses from the corrupt, that by manipulating information and opinions create false realities; AnonPlus not act for personal or political, has no leaders, moves to the interest of the people and to give back to the people's sovereignty; 
AnonPlus and is open to any proposal of the people, for the people.
5. The day that these objectives will be achieved AnonPlus will cease to exist. 

No war - No religions - No politicals - No financial power - for a Better World 



— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.