For a few hours on Monday, visitors to MalaysiaAirlines.com were unable to purchase airline tickets or access schedules.
Instead, the airline’s website showed a picture of a Malaysia Airlines A380 plane and the words “404-Plane Not Found,” and “Hacked by Cyber Caliphate,” as well as Twitter handles belonging to two people who work for UMG Events LLC — a company that hosts video game events.
The browser’s tab read “ISIS WILL PREVAIL,” and later that day, the same site had a photo of a lizard in a top hat and a message that said “Hacked by Lizard Squad, Official Cyber Caliphate” with a link to the Lizard Squad’s Twitter page before it was replaced by a basic version of Malaysia Airlines’ site.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Lizard Squad “claimed responsibility for a cyberattack on video game servers of Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp,” in December.
One of the two UMG Events workers claimed he had nothing to do with the attack, and instead said whoever did hack the site was trying to scare or warn the video game events company. Recent tweets from Lizard Squad were directed at the two men about gamers banned from video game conferences.
Malaysia Airlines said the incident was immediately reported to CyberSecurity Malaysia — the country’s forensics agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation — and the Ministry of Transport. It was later determined by CyberSecurity Malaysia to be domain hijacking.
Malaysia Airlines said in a statement that the company’s customer information and data are secure.