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Hackers hit Department of Weights and Measures website

This screenshot was provided by Arizona Department of Weights and Measures Director Andy Tobin, showing that his agency's website had been hacked by a group called the Middle East Cyber Army.

This screenshot was provided by Arizona Department of Weights and Measures Director Andy Tobin, showing that his agency’s website had been hacked by a group called the Middle East Cyber Army.

The Department of Weights and Measures’ website is out of commission after a weekend attack by a hacking group known as the Middle East Cyber Army.

Director Andy Tobin said the agency’s website was hacked on Sunday. A screenshot provided by Tobin shows the message “HACKED BY MECA,” along with a masked figure in front of the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine in disputed East Jerusalem, along with smoke and a series of slogans such as, “In Allah we trust. For Allah we work. Death to Israel. Free Palestine. Jerusalem is ours.”

Tobin said the department shut down its website and database immediately after he was made aware of the hacking attack. The agency got its backup database running on Tuesday so its investigators can continue their work.

“Operations here are moving forward as if nothing happened,” Tobin said.

Tobin said the agency is working with the Arizona Department of Administration to determine how the attack occurred. It has also notified the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The department’s website is still down for maintenance. Tobin said the agency is trying to determine whether to get its website up again or simply shift its components over to the Arizona Department of Agriculture, which is scheduled to take over many of the department’s duties next year. At Gov. Doug Ducey’s urging, the Legislature during the 2015 session passed a bill that will dismantle the Department of Weights and Measures and shift its duties to other agencies.

“It may make more sense to kind of coordinate it under Ag’s website sooner than later,” Tobin said.

According to news reports, MECA has hacked a broad array of targets across the globe. In December, the group hacked the website for a school district in Little Rock, Ark. It took over the website for the small Quebec town of Terrasse-Vaudreuil in January. In May, it targeted Auckland University in New Zealand. And in April, it hacked Art and Sol, a Scottsdale-based performing arts program for children.

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