Several organizations in Japan appear to have had their websites hacked and temporarily defaced by the Islamic State militant group, according to informed sources.
At least eight entities in five prefectures have been targeted, the sources said. They include the Nishinomiya Tourism Association in Hyogo Prefecture and Fuchu Athletic F.C. in the western Tokyo suburb of Fuchu.
Both confirmed that the top pages of their websites on Sunday were showing a black flag logo used by the militants and a message that read “Hacked by Islamic State.”
The pages have been restored to their original state and no leaks of personal information have been confirmed.
The police are trying to gather related information, concerned that other websites may also have been attacked.
According to investigative sources, most sites that are attacked use a Web page-managing software called Fancybox for WordPress. Its older versions are susceptible to hacking and users are being urged to upgrade immediately, they said.
At a news conference Wednesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said “the police will provide information on the latest incident, including the method used, to those managing important infrastructure.”
“We will do our best to prevent the damage from spreading,” he said.
The radical Islamic State group recently beheaded two Japanese citizens — journalist Kenji Goto and private security contractor Haruna Yukawa — after demanding an exorbitant ransom from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and has vowed to target more.