A group known as New World Hackers says it targeted the websites of Salt Lake City police, Salt Lake International Airport, the Downtown Alliance and First Utah Bank in response to the Feb. 27 officer-involved shooting of teenager Abdullahi Omar Mohamed.
The distributed denial of service attacks, first reported Monday by HackRead, appear to have had little impact on the sites’ function.
Nick Como, communication and marketing director for the Downtown Alliance, said he heard about the attacks but that the nonprofit’s website analytics were normal. City deputy director of communications Holly Mullen said an attack on the SLCPD site was “unsuccessful.” Airport public relations director Nancy Volmer was unaware of any problems.
First Utah Bank CIO Amy Foulks said the bank shut down its website for a few hours Sunday morning after it received an alert, which “allowed ourselves some time to implement a tool that would thwart the denial of service package.”
Bank president Brad Baldwin emphasized that the DDoS attacks were not a “hack.” The group did not gain access to the bank’s system or any customer information, he said.
A Twitter account associated with the group, @NewWorldHacking, told The Tribune the attacks were in response to the shooting of Mohamed, 17, who was shot and wounded near 250 S. Rio Grande Street after police say he was one of two people attacking a male victim with metal objects.
“We want justice for that poor kid who got shot 3 times in the chest for no accurate reason,” it said in a direct message.
That the group would target a bank with no apparent role in Mohamed’s shooting is “a mystery to us,” Baldwin said.
First Utah reported the attack to authorities, he said.
The FBI did not immediately return a request for comment Tuesday.