The Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) on Monday night was hit by Turkish hackers, identifying themselves as “Akıncılar” (Raiders), who wrote threatening messages against Greece, according to a report by Greek Reporter on Tuesday.
According to the report, at 11:00 p.m. on Monday a message referring to eight Turkish soldiers who have been seeking asylum in Greece appeared on the home page of the state press agency, threatening that the Turks would throw the Greeks into the sea like they did to their ancestors.
The hackers’ message was in Turkish, with the Turkish flag in the background, and was translated into English: “Greece forgets fast, we have thrown your ancestors into the sea, we will do it again.”
“You are partnering with the terrorists, by supporting the members of the traitor FETÖ Terrorist Organization who have martyred our people and who made the ‘15 July ‘ treacherous blow attempt. How we throw your ancestors into the sea, we will throw you and the terrorist organization FETÖ which you support – into the sea!” read the text in English.
“FETÖ” is a derogatory term coined by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) led by Turkish Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to refer to the Gülen movement.
According to AMNA, agency technicians had discovered indications of hacking attempts and were on the alert over the past two days. The hackers’ message was taken down within minutes.
The Turkish Education Ministry announced in early April that it was preparing to train so-called “white hat hackers” as part of a cybersecurity training project set to be launched this summer.
Speaking to the Hürriyet daily, the ministry’s Reform and Education Technology Directorate (YEĞİTEK) director, Bilal Tırnakçı, said they would include 50 students initially for a cybersecurity training program this summer.
Another Erdoğanist Turkish hacker group, Ayyıldız, took over the Twitter accounts of European Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn and NATO’s former Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen over the weekend.
The hackers posted pro-Erdoğan tweets from both accounts. “I want to make a confession! We knew that the coup was going to take place on July 15th. But we haven’t to help Turkey. That is why NATO must apologize to Mr. Erdogan,” the group tweeted through Rasmussen’s account.
Meanwhile, the group posted on Hahn’s account: “In Turkey, it will be held on June 24, I wish success to Cumhur Alliance in the presidential election. Achievements.”
Hahn’s account was recovered, while Rasmussen’s was still under the hackers’ control at the time of writing.
Earlier, the same group hacked the social media accounts of US TV hosts Greta Van Susteren and Eric Bolling as well as that of German magazine Der Spiegel’s editor-in-chief, Klaus Brinkbäumer.
Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan also pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. On December 13, 2017 the Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.
Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on April 18, 2018 that the Turkish government had jailed 77,081 people between July 15, 2016 and April 11, 2018 over alleged links to the Gülen movement.