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Institute of Politics Website Hacked

AnonGhost group claims responsibility

By Luca F. Schroeder, Crimson Staff Writer

UPDATED: May 1, 2015, at 2:40 a.m.

The Institute of Politics’ website was temporarily taken over Wednesday in what was allegedly a cyber-attack by pro-Palestinian hacker group “AnonGhost,” whose insignia replaced the site’s usual patriotic images for roughly 35 minutes.

“To All Governments of the World, We are watching you, we can see what you’re doing, we control you, we are everywhere,” read a message on the web page at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. “‘We are AnonGhost, We are legion, We do not forgive, We do not forget, Expect us,’” the post continued.

The message lay beneath the AnonGhost logo and a headline that read “HACKED BY ANONGHOST TEAM #OpUsa.” Rotating in the background was a series of real and drawn figures, including what appeared to be an armed individual waving the black flag of the terrorist group the Islamic State, and a figure with a Guy Fawkes mask overpowering what appeared to be a security agent.

The IOP website was taken offline by the Kennedy School of Government by 6:05 p.m. Wednesday, redirecting site traffic to a maintenance notice on the school’s main site. As of early Friday morning, the maintenance notice still remained.

Kennedy School Director of Information Technology Steven W. Duncan said at about 6:10 p.m. Wednesday that his team had just started “looking at” the issue, but declined to comment further.

IOP spokesperson Esten Perez said the Institute was “aware of the situation and [we] are working with the Kennedy School IT staff to address it.”

The hack coincided with a busy day for the IOP: the release of its biannual millennial poll.

—Staff writer Luca F. Schroeder can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @lucaschroeder.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

CORRECTION: April 30, 2015

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the Institute of Politics' millennial poll is annual. In fact, it is biannual.

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