The Threat is REAL!
Hello Freedom Fellowship,
This article is written by Rick Heid, your faithful webmaster. It is with deep sadness that, at this joyful time of celebration, I feel lead to issue this warning. However the times we are witnessing are not without attacks from the enemy. With that said, I urge you to always keep your joy and enjoy this celebratory time commemorating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Our church website has been under attack for the past three weeks. Worry not though, I’m on the job and fighting back with all the defenses I can employ. God has a way of making good come from bad though. The upside is that your webmaster is getting an intense lesson in cyber security. 🙄
It began with a constant flood of “new user signups”. I woke up and started my morning as usual with coffee and email/website checks. To my suprise we had 72 new church members. 0_o
Later they managed to actually place porn on our home page! Thank God I am prone to late nights in my home office and saw this occur at around 2:56am our time. I installed more security and locked the site down so no one but me could access the admin area of the site, (at one time the site was completely GONE) and no users could log in at all.
Another incident, though I’m not absolutely sure it is related, 2 Sundays ago I could not keep our live stream up. After several attempts to restart it with the same results I gave up. Communication with our streaming service produced a snip of code that should prevent violation.
As the “login lockouts” began happening and with intense monitoring of all changes in our site files, I’m fairly confident that no further intrusions are occurring. I get email alerts any time anything is changed (good or bad) and can respond within minutes. Full backups of all data are now being stored “off site” and can be restored quickly. Whew, I’m glad….and weary. In full disclosure…..it was thrilling to be in a cyber dual with minions of darkness!
I’ve had extended communication with our server host about the issue and they have installed a “plugin” on the super user level that even I can’t access. During one phone call I was informed that “church websites were particularly under attack.”
Also, don’t take it personal as we are in very good company as you will discover as you read on.
From Newsweek today:
U.S. federal authorities cautioned local law enforcement on Friday to be aware that supporters of the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) have been calling for their sympathizers to attack holiday gatherings in the United States, including churches, a law enforcement official said.
The warning, issued in a bulletin to local law enforcement, said there were no known specific, credible threats.
The notice from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security was issued out of an abundance of caution after a publicly available list of U.S. churches was published on pro-ISIS websites.
“The FBI is aware of the recent link published online that urges attacks against U.S. churches. As with similar threats, the FBI is tracking this matter while we investigate its credibility,” the FBI said in a statement.
ISIS sympathizers “continue aspirational calls for attacks on holiday gatherings, including targeting churches,” CNN quoted the bulletin as saying. The notice describes different signs of suspicious activity for which police should be alert, it said.
Tech Crunch is reporting that a number of top US websites are experiencing DDOS attacks and are down right now.
Sites such as Box, Boston Globe, New York Times, Github, Airbnb, Reddit, Freshbooks, Heroku and Vox Media properties are experiencing difficulties, users are complaining.
TRUNEWS is featuring a real-time video of the attacks as they are occurring.
A Pentagon cyber security source close to TRUNEWS’ own Edward Szall said about the attacks, “The outages are ‘supposedly’ being caused by the flooding on the East coast from Hurricane Matthew.”
The Pentagon source went on to say, “The claim that it’s from flooding is ridiculous because weather has only affected specific areas near the coast, not nearly enough to cause significant outages”
Another source involved in private cyber security told Edward that the surge in traffic was a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack directly specifically against Dyn DNS, an Internet performance management company headquartered in Manchester, New Hampshire. The source said, “It’s knocking out their domain resolution for their clients.” Dyn DNS specializes in offering products to monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure, and also domain registration services and email products.
ISIL issues hit list of U.S. churches for holiday attacks
Original article HERE
The Islamic State is urging its followers to attack U.S. churches and has published names and addresses of thousands of prospective targets, according to a report in the news website Vocativ.
Messages posted in Arabic to the group’s “Secrets of Jihadis” social media site called “for bloody celebrations in the Christian New Year.” The post, under the name Abu Marya al-Iraqi, said the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, hopes to tap lone wolf attackers to “turn the Christian New Year into a bloody horror movie,” Vocativ reports.
The series of messages appeared on Telegram, a messaging app that allows users to send encrypted messages to one another. The group also uses social media to provide instructions on constructing and igniting explosives.
The information on U.S. churches was based on information already available online and includes a public directory of churches across all 50 states, Vocativ said.
Another post urged followers to attack churches, hotels, crowded coffee shops, streets, markets and public places and provided some examples in the U.S. Canada, France and the Netherlands, Vocativ said.
The SITE Intelligence Group has cited similar Islamic State postings in recent days. The Islamic State claims one of its “soldiers” carried out an attack Monday at a Christmas market in Berlin that killed 12 people. A global manhunt is underway for suspect Anis Amri, 24, a Tunisian national.
Cities across the U.S. have bolstered security around holiday events following the Berlin attack.
In New York and Chicago, law enforcement officials said police presence has been increased for holiday events despite no intelligence that indicates specific threats to their cities. In Boston, Mayor Martin Walsh said the city deployed police and put barriers in place around the Boston Holiday market.
Contributing: Aamer Madhani
Pray for me folks. I am holding down the fort, with the help of our Lord, and your prayers.