An Islamist hackers group has brought down the website of Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas and a number of religious schools across Australia in a campaign that urges authorities to “stop killing people in Syria”.
The Victorian branch of the ALP has confirmed it is moving to a more secure hosting system after months of disruptive hacking.
Mr Pallas’s Labor Party website was hacked on Wednesday by a group calling itself the Tunisian Fallaga Team.
Under the hashtags Op_Russia and save_aleppo, the hacked site showed photographs of people suffering apparently in Syria.
Also embedded was a YouTube video containing footage of armed men and women.
The page said the United Nations had reported that Syrian government troops and allied Iraqi militia had deliberately shot dead men, women and children in eastern Aleppo.
Mr Pallas’s website displayed the Islamist content briefly before it was replaced with a message stating the official site was “briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance”.
The treasurer’s site was restored 30 minutes after the hack.
ALP assistant state secretary Kosmos Samaras says anonymous hackers have been attacking the websites of Labor MPs for months.
It appears they target whatever websites they can get into but political websites are more advantageous for spreading their message, he tells AAP.
“We’re just in the process of moving to a more secure system. If it continues then we’ll have to consider talking to the authorities about it,” Mr Samaras said.
The website of the Catholic Santa Maria College in Melbourne was also hacked by the same group on Wednesday as were the websites of Nunawading Christian College and Catholic College Bendigo.
Coffs Harbour Christian Community School was targeted along with training provider Future Academy Australia.
The website of Empyrean Education Institute, a commercial cookery, hospitality and business college in Western Australia, also went down.
Russian, Pakistani and Italian websites were compromised too.
Fallaga Team is a Tunisian Islamist hacker group that’s previously infiltrated Israeli, French and Tunisian websites.
In a 2013 interview, a Fallaga hacker explained the ideology driving the group.
“Our goal is to spread the word of Islam and to help our Muslim brothers wherever they may be,” DR. XL told Vice media.
“And to destroy Israel … I believe in the end Islam will control the earth.”
The then 19-year-old hacker added he wanted the world to know “that Islam is not terrorism, Islam is peace”.