Church website hacked by alleged terrorist group

Posted at 5:58 PM, Apr 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-24 17:58:07-04

LAMONT, Mich. — An alleged terrorist group is taking credit for hacking Lamont Christian Reformed Church's website.

It was 15-year old Elizabeth Storteboom who discovered the hack Friday night. She was searching for the church's phone number online while filling out paperwork, but instead she saw the words, "You have been hacked by the United Cyber Caliphate." That group claims to be a cyber army for the Islamic State.

"I clicked on the website and all of the sudden this video pops up, and I'm like, what is going on?" said Elizabeth Storteboom. The video played, reading, "We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses and enslave your women by the permission of Allah, the Exalted."

"It just started playing, and I was reading the bottom, and it was talking about crazy things. I called my dad in, and said he needs to see this. I covered the camera, because I was super scared there for a second."

"It was just talking about hating Christians and how Allah was God and everything," said Storteboom. "I was just confused. They were talking about taking women and children and stuff."

The same group has been hacking websites since 2014, including some military online databases.

"It was pretty scary in the moment," said Storteboom. "I didn't know if I should cover the camera or whatever, and I didn't know if it was that big of a deal or anything. But it was scary in the moment."

The church's website is run by C.C.S. Technologies in Coopersville. They were able to fix the website Saturday afternoon, but there was still some fear at the church service on Sunday.

"They were pretty freaked out," said Storteboom. "One of my friends said they didn't think a lot of people were going to show up today, and then the doors opened during service and they said like six people turned around and were getting freaked out. One of my friends said it had bombing threats in it or something."

The church has been in contact with the FBI and doesn't know if it was a prank or not. They don't believe it is a serious threat at this time.