Turkish group hacks into Akron-Canton Airport website


AKRON -- Turkish Ajan has struck again in Summit County.

The group hacked into the Akron-Canton Airport website Saturday morning and leaked personal information about customers online. But airport officials said sensitive details such as credit card information weren’t compromised.

Kristie VanAuken, the airport’s senior vice president, said the attackers went after about 15,000 online contest entries for travel giveaways. The only information that was exposed included names, email addresses, phone numbers and city of residence, she said.

“We are notifying our customers as quickly as we can,” she said.

The airport, located in Green, is advising people who signed up for a contest in the past two years to change email passwords as a precaution. Officials also are working with consultants to find out how the attack occurred.

The hacking did not affect regular airport operations and flight information wasn’t affected, the airport said.

The FBI is investigating the cyber attack. FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson confirmed that the agency is involved but she would not comment further.

A little over a week ago, Turkish Ajan claimed credit for hacking into the city of Akron’s website and internal server and posting sensitive information, including Social Security numbers and account numbers, of about 35,000 taxpayers on another website where anyone could access it.

Turkish Ajan is part of the Anonymous’ OpUSA Campaign, which has been trying to hack into various U.S. government websites. Mayor Don Plusquellic has called the hacking “a terrorist attack” and has said the city will cut off diplomatic ties with Turkey if the country fails to cooperate with the investigation by Akron and the FBI.

VanAuken said the website was attacked at 8 a.m. and shut down by the airport for security reasons.

The airport website displayed a message from the Turkish Ajan group when hacked, the website Hackread.com reported. The message, which appeared in both Turkish and English, said, in part: “We are not terrorists, we are working for justice and freedom for the Suppressed Muslim countries! FREE PALESTINE, FREE MYANMAR, FREE AFGHANISTAN, FREE IRAQ!”

Hackread.com posted the full message.

VanAuken could not confirm that the message appeared on the airport website, which was back online at 10:30 a.m.

The airport takes personal information of customers “very seriously,” VanAuken said. “We are going to work hard to get this rectified. We want to restore trust with our customers.”

The airport, she said, “will take every measure in the future to prevent this from happening” again.

She also praised the work of the FBI.

“They were terrific,” she said. “They acted immediately.”