San Diego restaurant's website hacked by militant group

SAN DIEGO - The website of a San Diego-based restaurant chain was reportedly hacked early Tuesday morning by a militant group, the second time a local business has been targeted by the group in the past two weeks.

Anyone who visited Croutons' homepage in the early morning hours would have seen a clip from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, along with Islamic text and the words "United Islamic Cyber Force" in English. There was also a link to the group's Facebook page, which had a picture that said: "We are coming to kill you O Jews."

"In many cases, attackers go after what we call the 'low-hanging fruit,'" said Chris Simpson, director for National University's Center for Cyber Security.

Simpson said the group probably scanned for websites with low security, adding, "It is a bit of a helpless feeling and you don't know what happened. You don't know why it happened."

"I don't see that this restaurant would be the primary place for them," San Diego State University information systems security expert Dr. Murray Jennex said about the group actually being terrorists.

Jennex said the group is probably "somebody just trying to make their bones in the local hacking community. So they're just showing they can do some cyber graffiti or it could have been somebody trying to put something up there to entice people to come to that website and download some malware."

Croutons -- which specializes in salads, sandwiches and soups -- has six locations in California and Oregon. The website was back up as of 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Last month, San Diego's New Children's Museum site was similarly hacked by United Islamic Cyber Force.

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