By Amy Rinard
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Jan. 28, 2008
Village of Merton - Anyone visiting the village's Web site over the
weekend found a crude, obscenity-laced home page instead of the usual
list of emergency phone numbers and recycling information after a
computer hacker tampered with the site.
"Oh, my gosh, that's not good," Julie Ofori-Mattmuller, village deputy
clerk/treasurer, exclaimed as she took her first look at the Web site
Monday morning during a phone conversation with a reporter.
"It must have gotten hacked pretty bad."
Instead of the site's usual description of the village as a "cozy
community located in the Lake Country area," the hacked village home
page displayed three obscene words in large letters - one flashing - and
a large drawing of a crude hand gesture.
Among other mostly misspelled and indecipherable words on the page was a
name, Mr. Elgaarh, which turned up in an online search as a well-known
computer hacker possibly from Egypt. One line on the hacked Merton home
page included the word "Egyptghost."
Ofori-Mattmuller said later Monday that after she saw the Web page, she
immediately contacted Sandra Levins, a village resident hired to handle
the Web site, to report the hacking.
Levins, who did not return phone calls Monday, took down the site for a
time. It was restored to its usual look by midafternoon.
Ofori-Mattmuller said the site appeared Friday as it usually does. A
reporter saw the vulgar, tampered-with home page Saturday.
"I don't think it was there that long," she said, noting that no
residents called to report a problem with the Web site.
She said she can't think of why any computer hacker, especially one from
another country, would want to target the Web site of a village of about
2,500 people in Wisconsin.
"We've had no controversial issues here; I don't know why anyone would
want to do this," she said.
"Snowplowing is the biggest issue we usually have. We're a quiet little
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