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Azerbaijani Official Websites Victimized By Cyberattack


The hacked website of Azerbaijan's ruling party on January 16

The hacked website of Azerbaijan's ruling party on January 16

BAKU -- The websites of several Azerbaijani state bodies were hacked on January 16 and some were inaccessible for several hours, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

The websites that were hacked belong to the Communications Ministry (rabita.az), the Interior Ministry (din.gov.az, mia.gov.az), the Constitutional Court (constcourt.gov.az), the official news agency Azertag, the Baku city administration, some news portals that are close to the government (including trend.az), azermarka.az, the ruling Yeni Azerbaycan Party (yap.org.az), vet.edu.gov.az, and others.

A notice was placed on some of the sites accusing the Azerbaijani authorities of "serving Jews" and on some a message was placed stating "Hacked by AzerianCyberarmy."

The cyberattack was first noticed on the Yeni Azerbaycan Party (YAP) site. Huseyn Pashayev, head of the YAP press service, told RFE/RL that officials were investigating the source of the attack.

Some administrators at other sites hit by the cyberattack told RFE/RL they were unaware of the origin of the hacking, but are investigating.

Parliament member Aydin Mirzezade told Trend agency on January 16 that the cyberattack against state entities showed Azerbaijan's growing international importance.

"Some people are worried about Azerbaijan's development, successes in domestic [affairs] and foreign policy [because] it's turning into one of the prestigious countries in the world," he said.

The YAP website said that it was previously attacked last month by hackers based in Iran, according to IP numbers that were linked to the cyberattack.

Internet analyst Rashad Aliyev told RFE/RL that the attacks on the Azerbaijani sites demonstrated that almost all Azerbaijani state entities did not have reliable cybersecurity systems in place.

"They are weak against such simple attacks," he said. "The hackers have thrown [prepared] programs onto the sites," Aliyev said. "This shows that all of these websites could be [the victims] of much bigger attacks. It's [a result] of irresponsibility on the part of state officials."

Aliyev said that in most cases, an hour was required to return the hacked websites back to their original states.

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