William Shakespeare in period clothing sitting in school desk with laptop computer shrugging at viewer.

If you hack us, do we not bleed? Stratford-tc(dot)gov(dot)uk defaced

Is this a hacker I see before me?

It would appear so, given that the .gov site for Stratford-upon-Avon town council – home of The Bard and the upcoming 400 year anniversary of his death – played host to the following defacement:

Stratford Hack

The site is located at


and the text read as follows:

Qur'an 3:19: - Indeed the religion in sight of Allah is Islam and those who were given the scripture did not differ except after knowledge had come to them - out of jealous anomosity between themselves. And whoever disbelieves in the verses of Allah, then indeed Allah is swift in [taking] account.

You may notice something written underneath which says

Moroccan #escortsoffline

This is related to a campaign waged by the hacker targeting escort sites, which involves both defacements and data theft.

I’m not entirely sure what Stratford-upon-Avon’s .gov page has to do with this, so I guess this is just a way to promote their anti-escort cause. While writing out this entry, the site has apparently been fixed. The page now looks a bit more Bardish:

Back to normal?

There’s no word on how the hacker got in, but one hopes whatever vulnerability was used has now been corrected. We’ll update the post with more information as we get it, but for now you should be okay to explore the website of Shakespeare’s hometown.

This is one compromise whose little life has been rounded with a server-side sleep…

Christopher Boyd


Christopher Boyd

Former Director of Research at FaceTime Security Labs. He has a very particular set of skills. Skills that make him a nightmare for threats like you.