MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A local brewery had to shut down its website after a hacker claiming to be with ISIS took over the page.
Similar website messages were reported across the country.READ MORE: Walz Taps National Guard For Flood Support In Northeastern MN
Third Street Brewhouse in Cold Spring reportedly called police after discovering the message on Saturday.
The St. Cloud Times reports that part of the message said: “Hacked by Islamic State. We are everywhere,” with a winky-face emoticon.
It’s not yet known if ISIS was directly responsible for the hack, or if this was done by an outside group.
Cold Spring police said they would be available to talk about the situation on Monday.
Former CIA officer Jack Rice said on Sunday he believes the intelligence community may first try to track cyber-terrorism to a specific country.
However, Rice says ISIS presents unique challenges.READ MORE: Man Fatally Shot On Downtown St. Paul LRT Platform; 2 Others Killed In Separate Shootings
“The problem with ISIS is it’s not really a country,” he said. “It’s not Syria, not Iraq, it can be any supporter anywhere in the world. That’s what makes this so difficult.”
Rice says ISIS has also been successful in motivating individuals to act on its behalf.
“If you can grab at least once piece or one person in a cell you can wrap that cell up, potentially,” Rice said. “But if the so called ‘lone wolf’ changes everything and makes it more complicated.”
In addition to Third Street Brewhouse in Cold Spring, an auto speedway, a bar and restaurant, a digital ad agency, and a Goodwill store also reported getting hacked.
In those cases, the companies told local media their servers were targeted, not the individual websites.
“If you can take down a small website in southern Minnesota you can then turn around and say ‘we did those ones, we can do yours next,’” Rice said.
Rice says large scale cyber-attacks are used to cause significant monetary damage, but the goal to cause fear is the true bottom line for terrorists.MORE NEWS: Next Weather: Frost Alerts For Northern Minnesota This Weekend
“Any organization that wants to attack a business will go after the easy ones so don’t be one of the easy ones,” Rice said.