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Hampton Public Library website hacked, redirects to adult retail store

City leaders created a new website after someone reportedly acted as a city employee to hack the public library's website domain.

HAMPTON, Va. — The Hampton Public Library is making some big changes after someone hacked the website, redirecting people to an adult retail store website

“It appears to be a retail store for adult products is what I will say,” said Robin McCormick, a spokesperson for the City of Hampton.

McCormick said city leaders talked to their domain registration company to find out how a hacker got a hold of the account.

“Someone claimed to be a city employee -- maybe answered a security question or provided some verification, I don’t know. [The hacker] said, 'I want to transfer this domain. I own this domain. I want to transfer it' and so they transferred it,” said McCormick.

City staff is urging citizens to use their new website.

Cyber security expert and Valorr Cybersecurity CEO Greg Tomchick said there are simple ways to better protect websites from hackers.

“A lot of times the threat actor gets in through a weak password or passwords that are shared. Multi-factor authentication everything that you have that next layer of authentication to get into the account,” said Tomchick.

McCormick said the city found out about the hack on Wednesday, but it appears that some employees found out earlier than that.

“It is possible that there’s some people on the city staff who knew about this a little sooner, and it just didn't get escalated as quickly as it should have,” said McCormick.

McCormick said city leaders are still looking into all the details and who knew about the website change.

“We really are speaking out to warn people long before we know all of the answers, and I’m sorry about that, but we did think it was important to be transparent and come forward,” said McCormick.

Hampton city leaders said they blocked the unsafe website from all libraries and city buildings.

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