Bristol bus company hacked by Islamic extremists in error

Islamic extremist hackers mistakenly brought down a local bus company's website, thinking it provided travel for the entire western world, including the United States.

DarkShadow attacked the TravelWest website, which only provides information and timetables to travellers who wish to take a bus or cycle in the West Country of the UK, including Bristol and the surrounding areas.

Users of the TravelWest site wrote about the hack on social media, saying comments such as: "Oh dear, can't tell the difference between a local bus company and travel site. Pathetic. What price education huh?"

Another wrote: "Can you fix this little error on the TravelWest site? Nice music by the way."

Based in Tunisia and the Ivory Coast, Darkshadow has reportedly also hacked Philippine Airlines and the El Salvador government's websites.

The hacking message displayed information about these previous hacks, in addition to a link to the group's Facebook page while Arabic music playing in the background.

The message read: "Hacked by darkshadow, Arab Security, Muslum (sic) Hackers,, Email:" plus information about the hack (Fatal Error).

However, cynics are doubtful the group was responsible for the hack because the perpetrators spelt the word 'Muslim' incorrectly and the faux pas seems a little unexpected from a group that claims to have taken down such high-profile organisations in the past.

The West of England Partnership (WEP), responsible for the website, said its IT department started working to resolve the hack as soon as it was discovered by users.

Julia Dean, communication officer for WEP, told The Telegraph: "Glad to report everything is now back up and working."

At the time of writing, the Travelwest site was showing an unavailable message, despite some news sources reporting the site was up and running after a short outage. The comapny's Twiter said "Intermittent problems with again which may continue over the weekend. Thanks for your patience."

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.