Fine Gael's new website has been defaced.
They were the only major political party to still host their website in Ireland up until very recently.
UPDATE 2135: The Fine Gael site is now completely offline with this default holder up instead:
There is now a more official looking holder page up:
Wait for the wonderfully vague (and inaccurate) excuses and explanation from Fine Gael spokespeople in the coming days ...
The Fine Gael website is back up and running with no evidence of the defacement in sight. It's also not clear whether they have taken any measures to improve the coding of the site to stop the kind of attack that that happened last night. It seems that they had another message on the site during the night which tried to spin the hack (via Kieran Lane) :
I have a few problems with this message and the total lack of any message on the site at present.
To start with trying to spin the defacement in this manner is really not that bright. Either they think we're all dumb or their spin doctors are more naive than I thought.
Secondly it's not clear if the defacement's attack vector has been patched properly or not. Under normal circumstances I would assume that it had, but considering how simple the "hack" was I wouldn't be overly confident of them having fixed it.
It now transpires that the defacement was a lot more serious and several thousand people's contact details may have been compromised. No mention of any of this that I can see on the Fine Gael site.. And their WHOIS data doesn't exactly instil any confidence in them ..
the spin continues.
Fine Gael are now claiming that the site was "professionally hacked". Even though several people have pointed out how the site was easily compromised they seem to be ignoring this completely.
They sent the following email to their "supporters" with the subject line: FG Website Professionally Hacked / Authorities Notified
At some point today, probably after they sent out the email above (?) the Fine Gael website was taken offline and the following message put up:
It's basically the same text as they used in their email.
Some sources are stating that the FBI has now been contacted. This is quite normal and has nothing to do with the site's profile.
Update Tuesday 11 January 19:25
At present Fine Gael does not have a functioning website. The .ie (finegael.ie) which they had been using for years is still redirected to the .com, which has been offline since yesterday. FineGael.com is currently pointing to a default IIS7 page.
So the main opposition party in Ireland is basically "offline"
UPDATE Wednesday 12 January 17:45
While searching for an article related to this incident I got the following (click to enlarge) :
ice a couple of things:
- Fine Gael are paying for Google Adwords to drive traffic to a holding page. I've no idea how much they're paying per click, but it's a waste of money at present due to the site being completely offline.
- The link to Enda Kenny's page on the Fine Gael website no longer works, as they've redirected ALL traffic for *.finegael.ie to the new site, which is still offline. Oddly enough Fine Gael sub-sections in the format www.politicianname.finegael.ie are still working.
According to an article on Forbes the Anonymous group are denying responsibility for the hack and have also given some very plausible explanations as to why they could not have been involved. Worth reading.
UPDATE Friday 14 January 19:00
The Fine Gael website is back online. It's now carrying a message from Enda Kenny about the hacking incident:
A couple of weeks ago I said that I wanted to hear from you and despite the recent interruption to the website, I still do.
You may be aware this website was hacked on January 9, 2011 and Fine Gael is now assisting the relevant authorities in their ongoing investigations. We very much regret that contact data that the public supplied as part of an open and genuine conversation about the future of our country was accessed in the course of this hacking incident. For now we have removed the email and mobile phone sections of the Comment forms but we still want to hear your views, opinions and concerns about the issues facing our country.
This video I recorded at the end of last week was a response to the overwhelming participation on the site, since going live. The message in the video remains the same, even if we have been delayed in posting it to this site.
I am looking forward to hearing your comments on what's needed to change our country once more.
I'm a little confused by the removal of the email and phone sections of the comment forms. Does this mean that they still haven't secured the site completely, or is this some kind of attempt to make people feel that they're being more careful about personal data?
Speaking of Enda Kenny .. ...
Googling for him at the moment gets some rather "interesting" results.
His page on the Fine Gael site is not reachable, as mentioned before. However it is quite easy to get to endakenny.com. You'd think this was either his site or that of the folk singer based in Australia. It's not. It's a Bebo page which is obviously a "spoof site" setup by someone who doesn't particularly like Enda Kenny or Fine Gael ..