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ISIS hackers take over local healthcare website; company tries to assure patients their info is safe

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KROTONA, N.Y. (PIX11) -- It's a hazard that could affect anyone with an internet connection, and it comes courtesy of the terrorist group ISIS.  Hundreds of people in the tri-state who logged on to their healthcare provider's website Thursday night and Friday got a very unhealthy shock.  An ISIS-supporting group had hacked in, leaving many people concerned about the security of their personal information.

When they navigated to the website for Westchester Health, they ended up getting a webpage proudly declaring that the site being searched for had not only been hacked, but it had been done by a hacker whose hacked site prominently displayed the flag of the terrorist group ISIS, and even declared "I love you ISIS."   It all came from an entity called the Moroccan Revolution Team.

"It's very disturbing," said Manuel Gomez, a former Marine, NYPD sergeant and FBI agent Manuel Gomez, who is now an attorney who has founded MG Security Services, a security company in which he's an expert on cyber crime and terrorism.

"Cyber crime is the number two threat" that the FBI investigates internationally, Gomez said, adding that the number one threat is terrorism.  "This has a nexis to terrorism," said Gomez about the hacking.

He also said it had "never been seen before" where a local healthcare provider's website had been hacked by an ISIS-related or sympathizing entity.

Actually agreeing with him on the cyber attack being a serious threat was Westchester Health itself.  It has now restored its website http://www.westchesterhealth.com to its normal configuration, but only after it featured the Moroccan Revolution Team home page for sixteen hours.

Westchester Health's president and CEO, Peter Mercurio, M.D., said that the company's homepage is strictly a marketing site, and that patients' personal information can only be accessed by clicking through to a password-protected portal.

"When [patients] went to the website, before they could even go to the portal, they came to the information [PIX11 News] got" -- the Moroccan Revolution Team hacked page.

"I'm annoyed that this goes on," said Mercurio about hacking in general, and on his company's website. "I'm concerned about the well being of our patients.  To that, I can say no damage was done."