ISIS attack on Sussex solar energy company

Solar UK's factory on North Trade Road, Battle. Photo courtesy of Solar UK
Solar UK's factory on North Trade Road, Battle. Photo courtesy of Solar UK

A small solar energy company in Sussex was attacked by hackers supporting the Islamic State group and featured in a video with beheadings.

Solar UK’s website was down for two and a half hours by the so-called Caliphate Cyber Army as the company was 11th on it’s target list alongside The Pentagon.

The website was replaced with jihadi threats and the group later posted a video boasting about the attack on January 31.

One of the Battle firm’s founders Duncan Lee said he was flattered by the attention but struggled to understand why they were targeted.

“But for IS to make the claim was rather flattering,” he said.

“Maybe they’re upset that we are a direct threat to their oil income by turning the world green?”

Mr Lee thought the hack was just some kids messing around as the website has been around 15 years and is ‘relatively easy’ to hack.

But he soon realised the severity of it after a Sunday Times reporter told him Solar UK was featured in IS propaganda.

Fortunately, the website does not hold any sensitive information as that is handled externally, but security will be stepped up after the attack.

“What I suppose happened is they put a search robot out looking older coding as it is easier to hack,” he said.

“We’ve been around for 15 years and we’re probably one of the older websites on the Internet.

“We don’t take any customer credit cards on it as it’s handled externally so security isn’t strong.”

The attack was apparently revenge for a drone strike which killed British-hacker Junaid Hussain in Syria last August.

He was married to former punk musician Sally Jones from Chatham in Kent, who remains at large in Syria.

Solar’s hack has made international news as it can be found as far as the Indian media.

Mr Lee said if the hack was meant to bring down the company, they failed as it has only helped boost their popularity.

“One of our clients pointed out that it’s done us a favour as we’ve got a lot of free publicity from it,” he said.

“So if they wanted to destroy our business then they’ve done the opposite.”

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