UPDATE: Wawa's Website Hacked

Group says it is protesting high gas prices, threatens to shut down pumps

Greg Lindenberg, Editor, CSP

[UPDATE: Wawa spokesperson Lori Bruce updated CSP Daily News on the situation and "confirmed that there was no impact to any store or gas operations." She said, "Our investigation shows there was no impact to any of our internal operations. We have no evidence of a breach beyond the website redirection."]

WAWA, Pa. -- Hackers caused problems for Wawa's website, www.wawa.com, late Friday, although it appeared to be back to normal by Saturday. Some visitors to the convenience retailer's site did not see the usual images of hoagies and smoothies and gasoline promotions. Instead, those images were replaced with a cartoon of Adolf Hitler and the name of the group claiming responsibility, UGNazi.

According to a report by The Daily Times, Wawa.com visitors were met with a black screen reading "Welcome Nazis, Targets & Reasons" and the drawing of Hitler. Beneath the group's name was a list of individuals who allegedly hacked the site: Arya Ebrahimi, Justin Martin, Alex Irvin and Thomas Ryan.

The group included a link to follow it on Twitter. UGNazi tweeted about high gasoline prices and plans to also hack the convenience store's gasoline pumps, reported CBS Philly.

According to a Courier Post report, the group tweeted, "How much ‪#havoc would be caused by shutting down all of the Wawa gas pumps? Love having access to the gas control relay centers :)."

In a statement provided to CSP Daily News on Saturday, Wawa public relations director Lori Bruce said, "Please be assured that we have no evidence to indicate our website has been breached. Images on our website were not replaced;  however, a domain name server is being intermittently redirected to a nonlegitimate webpage. We have rectified the situation with our domain registrar, but it may take another 24 hours to propagate to all domain name servers. Until then, people trying to visit Wawa.com may see a page other than Wawa.com."

(The website seemed to be displaying normally by Saturday, with no trace of the bogus page evident.)

"Unfortunately, today, many well-known brands have become targets for online mischief or worse. We will continue to actively monitor and report this to the proper authorities," Bruce added.

"This obviously had nothing to do with Wawa and it is certainly not something we condone," she told the Courier-Post. "We will be working with authorities to get to the bottom of this."

Pennsylvania State Police told the paper that the hacking would fall under the purview of the Internet Crimes Task Force.

"We did this not only for the fame but for the 'lulz' ["laugh out louds"] and the fact that Wawa has scorching high gas prices and receives many complaints daily," Cosmo, one of the UGNazi hackers, told technology website Softpedia.com. He claimed that the group has gained access to the websites entire database, but that it has not found anything valuable to leak.

According to Wikipedia, UGNazi, also known as the Underground Nazi Hacktivist Group, is a computer hacker group that has claimed responsibility for several attacks conducted over the Internet. It is best known for its "Tango Down" distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on U.S. government websites and for leaking the personal information of government officials.

The Wawa, Pa.-based c-store chain operates 594 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, of which 311 sell fuel.