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ISU Police Department Facebook Page Hacked

The Iowa State University Police Department Facebook page fell victim to a cyber attack Saturday morning. Their page, followed and liked by more than 10,000 people, had its cover photo changed to the Syrian resistance flag, donning a green stripe as opposed to the traditional red one, and posted in Arabic, a statement roughly translated to:

“Thank God the Lord of the worlds was the breach by unwanted forces Syrian government response to the failure of (America) towards the Syrians and the next greatest Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest).”

 

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ISU Police Arabic

Some Facebook users responded to the post, with the hacked account responding back in Arabic on several occasions.

The campus police took to Twitter to respond to the incident, stating they were indeed hacked and that followers should disregard these and future posts until further notice.

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ISU Police respond to hacking on Twitter.

Iowa State has a notable amount of Arab and Arabic-speaking students, with nearly 200 international students from countries where Arabic is the official or co-official language, as of Fall 2016.

The Arab Student Association at Iowa State took to Facebook to respond by saying, “The ASA condemns the hacking of the ISU Police Facebook page. This act does not represent the values of Syrians, Arabs, nor Muslims.”

 

The Arabic used in the post, however, has perplexed many Arabic speakers on the social media site, with grammatical and structural errors throughout.

“These aren’t mistakes Google translate would make, nor would a native speaker make,” says Dr. Ghinwa Alameen, Syrian-born lecturer of Arabic and faculty adviser of the ASA at Iowa State. “This Arabic is not authentic.

“This is a very unfortunate incident because ISU Police is one of the most vital services in our community and they use Facebook to inform the public of important safety alerts,” she says. “Disrupting a critical communication resource at ISU has no relevance to resolving the conflict in Syria.”

The attack comes amid a large-scale and unprecedented wave of malicious cyber attacks and instances of ransomware, which have jarred the international community in the last 48 hours, affecting some of the world’s largest companies and agencies across 100 countries. 

The Iowa State Police Department has yet to release a statement on the hacking. There is no clear motive for the incident.

Follow @ISUtv on Twitter for more updates.

 

 

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President Trump launches air strikes in Syria; first military attack of his presidency

President Donald Trump announced earlier the United States had launched 60 Tomahawk missiles in Syria in retaliation for the gas attacks on civilians that occurred Tuesday.

“It is in this vital national security of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,” Trump said in a live statement.

Trump went on in his statement to accuse Syrian president Bashar al-Assad of using banned weapons and violating international conventions. “We ask for God’s wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world,” he said.

This airstrike marks the first military attack of Donald Trump’s presidency. Many news outlets, including ABC News and TIME magazine, are reporting that Trump forewarned Russia of the missile launches. However, it is unclear if Russia will back the U.S. on the attack.

In the past, Trump has been critical of the Obama administration in dealing with the Syrian government and the ongoing civil war. In 2013, he tweeted out a plea to “not attack Syria” for “many very bad things will happen.”

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ISUtv will continue updating this post as more information comes.

EDIT 4/6/17 11:40 p.m. CT: The governor of Homs reports that the attacks were targeted at an air base in the city. There have been confirmed deaths but no information on how many or if they are civilians.

EDIT 4/7/17 1:30 a.m. CT: The Associated Press reports the Kremlin has denounced the air strike, calling it an “aggression against sovereign state in violation of international law.”

EDIT 4/7/17 8:24 a.m. CT: Russian military officials have offerrerd to help Syria build up their military following U.S. air strikes. al-Assad’s office calls the attacks “reckless, irresponsible behavior.” The death toll currently includes nine civilians, of which four are children, and six soldiers, according to multiple sources. The Kremlin believes Russian soldiers may also be impacted by the attack and says it may hurt U.S./Russian relations.

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Georgia Interstate Collapse

In Atlanta, Georgia, a section of Interstate 85 has collapsed in flames. Although the interstate was flooded with commuters, there have been no injuries yet reported. Drivers said they saw black smoke coming up from from underneath the interstate. Some continued to drive through, while others pulled onto the shoulder, or exited the roadway. As of now, all lanes are blocked and will be for the foreseeable future. Though it is undetermined what caused the fire, it has been reported that it is under control.