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Hackers Vandalize Minnesota Government Websites

Internet vandals targeted two webpages under the Department of Human Services with an anti-government message. Officials say it does not appear that any sensitive information was accessed in the incident.

by / August 8, 2019

Two Minnesota government webpages were defaced this week, but, unlike many recent cyberincidents, the motive does not appear to be financial. 

While ransomware attacks have seen governments across the country besieged by demands for large sums of money by way of cryptocurrency, whoever is responsible for the Minnesota incident appears to have been driven by a desire to irk rather than rip off the target.  

Two Department of Human Services webpages were defaced with anti-government rhetoric Sunday night, according to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. Officials with the state's Security Operations Center were able to take the pages down within several hours of discovery Monday morning, according to the local report. 

Officials also said there is no evidence to suggest that the pages were viewed by the public, as the pages were mostly used by government employees. 

Defacing websites has been a hacker favorite since the beginning of the Internet — with attacks on everything from websites for the U.S. Justice Department to the U.S. Senate to state Supreme Court sites.  

And this isn't the first time during the past year that the agency has been hit by malicious actors. Last year, the DHS was breached three times — including one announced in February.   

Officials with DHS could not be reached for comment. 

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Lucas Ropek Staff Writer

Lucas Ropek is a staff writer for Government Technology. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and writer in Massachusetts and New York. He received his Bachelor's degree in English from Kenyon College in Ohio. He lives in Northern California.

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