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ISIS Supporter Hacks Tsinghua University of China’s Website to Show Support to Jihad

January 18
7:07 AM 2016

The website of one of China's leading universities, Tsinghua University in Beijing, was hacked into by someone linked to the Islamic State (ISIS). Some of the pages on the website were replaced with photographs and audio files showing support for jihad. The infiltrator identified himself as "Islamic State Hacker".

The hacker displayed images of what is believed to be ISIS militants, waving the black-and-white banner of the militant group. In addition to that, the hacker also reprogrammed the website for students and lecturers to display verses from the Quran, the central religious scripture text of Islam. The verses were showed in Arabic, accompanied by a background music.

"God is great, I am unafraid of death, dying a martyr's death is my ultimate goal," says one translated Arabic message in the hacked website, as reported by NDTV. One message that was written in English read, "Everything is OK in the end. If it's not OK, then it's not the end."

The website was shut down immediately after the infiltration was reported. The university took that move with a statement that it needs to be done to prevent further spreading of the message.

Critics accuse Beijing's discrimination against Muslim Uighur as a trigger to the attack. The region of Xinjiang is known to be home to the Muslim Uighur minority. Previously, China's state-run media have accused the Uighurs of trying to escape China and join the militants group in the middle east.

South China Morning Post stated that Tsinghua is one of China's leading universities. Also, the institution is often involved in national security research projects.

Partly because of the university's involvement with China's defence and security, Tsinghua's website have often been targeted by hackers. But this is the first time the cyber attack comes from ISIS.
Because of previous attacks, it is reported that Tsinghua university's website is highly maintained and protected more than many other websites, including government websites. One of the university's technician in charge for cyber security said that it is unlikely that ISIS hackers have the advanced technology required to break their website's firewall.

According to International Business Times, if indeed the operation is linked with ISIS, this would be the first time the militant extremist group targeted a website based in China.

It is also known that China has one of the tightest regulations and restrictions when it comes to the internet. The authorities decided what contents can or cannot be accessed by the citizens. China even has its own search engine called Baidu, and Google can't be accessed. Previously, ISIS has officially declared China as one of its enemies.

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