Turkish Hackers Launch Second Cyber-Attack on Killeen's Website

Hackers launched a cyber attack on the City of Killeen for the second time in three months.

KILLEEN - The City of Killeen's website was hacked for the second time in roughly three months.

Employees noticed the hack just before 1:00 p.m. Monday.

Visitors to the website were welcomed to a message of “HACKED BY llJACKSPARROWll” along with an image of a Turkish Flag and Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


The hacker, who calls himself Jack Sparrow -- Johnny Depp's character from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies -- hacked Killeen's website on behalf of a group of hackers known as the Turk Hack Team.

According to the hacker organization's website, the group has nearly 800,000 members. The hackers claim they do not do harm, but they believe in using hacking to point out vulnerabilities on various websites -- including government sites, which they have previously hacked. The organization has taken credit for several hundred attacks in the last few years. And, this is the second time they have targeted the City of Killeen. The first time was in May.

Killeen's website is operated by a third-party web design firm called the OIC Group. Channel Six News asked the city if it planned to switch companies after seeing two hacks in only three months. But, the city's Executive Director of Public Information Hilary Shine said Killeen stands behind OIC, which she believes is doing everything it can to prevent another attack.

"Right now, we have not only the external company working to diagnose this," Shine said. "But, we have a separate company looking into it as well, so we can upgrade our security if necessary."

City leaders do not believe any personal information was compromised in either hack. They said even though water bills and court feed can be paid online, the website routes residents to a secure server where those payments are processed. So, the city does not believe credit card information was ever exposed to the hackers.

"The online bill payments or the secured areas where someone would have to put in a user name and password and personal information," Shine said. "Those are hosted by external sites. They are not hosted by this website."

The hack caused headaches at city hall on Monday, where city employees where unable to provide links to services and access city council agendas. Residents were temporarily unable to pay bills electronically.

By dinnertime on Monday, the regular website was mostly restored, aside from a few links that needed to be fixed. The repairs went much more quickly than during the May hack when the website was down for roughly 48 hours.

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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