March 25, 2015 — Latah Creek Winery near Spokane, WA seems an unlikely target for terrorists but the bizarre and unthinkable happened last Friday afternoon when their Home page was taken over by a hacker proclaiming “I am Muslin & I love jihad”.
Written in poor English, the hacker(s) “Team System DZ” went on to say, “Islamic State List to restore the right of Muslims who have been killed by your governments savage and unjust” adding IS will restore dignity for Muslims and “purge the land of the Muslims from the hypocrites infidels.” Plus the obligatory proclamation, “F*** USA & Israel.”
The hack was discovered around 3:30 p.m. and traced to their web developer’s server. The attack was not directed specifically at either company but came via a Word Press plug-in, meaning that many businesses across the U.S. using that plug-in would have been affected. The winery’s web site was restored by 5:30 p.m.
Latah Creek’s owner and founder, Mike Conway told us he immediately contacted the FBI. He said, “We weren’t a target. Just in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Was it a prankster or was it real? He doesn’t know and confirmed the FBI is investigating. He also urges businesses to be vigilant and report this type of mischief to authorities.
Conway and his wife, Ellena started Latah Creek in 1982. It was the 35th winery in a state that now has 850 wineries. They built it from the ground up and produce about 15,000 cases a year of moderately priced, medal-winning wines in the $10 to $20 range. The limited edition Monarch wines are under $40.
Ninety percent of their wine is sold in Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon and they ship to all areas of the country where shipping is legal. Check them out at www.latahcreek.com.