Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Hacked St. Louis Budget Website Poses No Threat To City Data, Officials Say

Posted By on Thu, Jun 2, 2016 at 8:57 AM

click to enlarge BRIAN KLUG VIA FLICKR.
A hacker group that describes itself as a "Bangladesh-based International Network of Muslim Programer [sic] & Hacktivist" is responsible for defacing the homepage of, which serves as a repository of information about the city's budget-making process.

Or, at least served that purpose back in 2013. Turns out the hackers took down an abandoned website. Lulz!

We spotted the hacking yesterday while clicking around on the Board of Aldermen Ways and Means Committee Twitter account, which is maintained by the office of BOA President Lewis Reed. That Twitter account is active — its profile touts itself as "the official Twitter account for the 2016-2017 budget process of the City of St. Louis" — and provides a very helpful live-tweeted summary of committee hearings. The Twitter account includes a link to on its profile.

Clicking on, however, results in a blank webpage with the words "Hacked by Kazi Shaheb | TeaM_CC | Bangladeshi Hacker" splashed across a white background. 

We contacted Maggie Crane, spokeswoman for Mayor Francis Slay, who tells us that was never officially maintained by the city. Citing the city's IT department, Crane reassured us that the hacking "does not pose a threat to the City's budget information and expenditure database." 

According to Michael Powers, legislative director for Reed's office, the site had been created by Alderman Antonio French in order to provide the public with video recordings of committee meetings and general information about the budgeting process. (We reached out to French for more details about the site's creation, but we have yet to hear back.)

The hacking itself appears to have only corrupted the website's home page. Other parts of the website ares still available.

Like many hacker groups, TeaM_CC recorded its successful attack for posterity on Zone-H, a widely used archive of defaced websites that allows groups to self-report their own digital deviance. TeaM_CC claim to have defaced the homepage in February. 

click to enlarge ZONE-H.ORG
As of press time, is still listed on the Ways and Means Committee Twitter account profile, but we'd recommend a different source of fiscal information. If you'd actually like to watch videos of St. Louis budget committee hearings and whatnot, check out of the city's YouTube channel

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_ Towski. E-mail the author at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

June 16, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation