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The Arkansas Library Association's website has been hacked, and information about the librarians has been posted on a pro-ISIS website.

But the librarians don't seem too hacked off.

Necia T. Parker-Gibson, a librarian and professor at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, said it's unsettling, but the only difference she has seen so far is more spam in her email inbox.

"I can't for the life of me figure out why they want the names and addresses of a bunch of librarians," Parker-Gibson said. "We're not particularly scary."

The stolen information includes names, addresses and telephone numbers of library employees, according to a May 31 email from Ronald S. Russ, web-services committee chair of the Arkansas Library Association, to members of that group.

"Just wanted to let you know that the FBI informed us that the data that was stolen from us has appeared on a pro-ISIL website," wrote Russ, who is also electronic and public services librarian for Abington Library at Arkansas State University-Beebe. "We have cooperated with the authorities and we hope that this helps in catching the perpetrators of this hack."

ISIS is a terrorist group also known as ISIL or the Islamic State that has established footholds in Iraq, Syria and Libya. The Arkansas Library Association's website is

On Monday, Newsweek magazine published an article about the Arkansas library hack. Newsweek said many of the ISIS hackers were lone wolves looking for easy targets. They disseminated the "hit list" among supporters on the privacy app Telegram, according to the article.

"The group's cyber-wing has initiated a trend of hacking low-level sites and databases, releasing civilian details in longer lists with increasing frequency," according to Newsweek. "State and federal authorities essentially left the [Arkansas Library Association] to its own devices to inform the 800 people of the database hack."

When asked if they were investigating, the FBI issued the following statement: "While our standard practice is to decline comment on specific operational and investigative matters, the FBI routinely notifies individuals and organizations of information collected during the course of an investigation that may be perceived as potentially threatening in nature. Potential threats may relate to individuals, institutions, or organizations, and are shared in order to sensitize potential victims to the observed threat, and to assist them in taking proper steps to ensure their safety."

Bill Sadler, a spokesman for the Arkansas State Police, said that agency wasn't investigating the hacking.

Parker-Gibson said the hack has had little effect at this point.

"So far, my experience is that it hasn't been a huge deal," she said.

Metro on 06/08/2016

Print Headline: Librarians shrug off ISIS hack


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