On Saturday morning, a number of GovGuam agency websites were hacked. The motive of this hack was to spread awareness about the conditions occuring in Syria.
According to the details from the governor’s office, the websites were restored in the afternoon and now the Office of Technology is investigating how the incident occurred.
Guam Homeland Security and the Office of Civil Defense received a 911 dispatch that claimed that Guam Police Departments website had been defaced. Other websites which were also affected were those that ended with guam.gov
The Office of Technology confirmed the hack and figured out that it was isolated to a single web server; they disconnected the server from the network and fixed the issue.
The Marianas Regional Fusion Center, under Guam Homeland Security, later advised the community to practice good security practices and provided the following tips:
- Realize that you are an attractive target to hackers. Don’t ever say “It won’t happen to me.”
- Practice good password management. Use a strong mix of characters, and don’t use the same password for multiple sites. Don’t share your password with others, don’t write it down, and definitely don’t write it on a note attached to your monitor.
- Never leave your devices unattended. If you need to leave your computer, phone, or tablet for any length of time — no matter how short — lock it up so no one can use it while you’re gone. If you keep sensitive information on a flash drive or external hard drive, make sure to lock that up as well.
- Always be careful when clicking on attachments or links in email. If it’s unexpected or suspicious for any reason, don’t click on it. Double check the URL of the website the link takes you to: bad actors will often take advantage of spelling mistakes to direct you to a harmful domain.
- Sensitive browsing, such as banking or shopping, should only be done on a device that belongs to you, on a network that you trust. On a friend’s phone, a public computer, or a cafe’s free WiFi, your data could be copied or stolen.
- Back up your data regularly, and make sure your anti-virus software is always up to date.
- Be conscientious of what you plug in to your computer. Malware can be spread through infected flash drives, external hard drives and even smartphones.
- Watch what you’re sharing on social networks. Criminals can befriend you and easily gain access to a shocking amount of information — where you go to school, where you work, when you’re on vacation — that could help them gain access to more valuable data.
- Offline, be wary of social engineering, in which someone attempts to gain information from you through manipulation. If someone calls or emails you asking for sensitive information, it’s OK to say no. You can always call the company directly to verify credentials before giving out any information.
- Be sure to monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity. If you see something unfamiliar, it could be a sign that you’ve been compromised.
They also asked the community to report any suspicious activity to the law enforcement offices or to contact the Marianas Regional Fusion Center immediately.