The website for actor Kirk Cameron’s upcoming movie “Saving Christmas” was infiltrated by Islamic hackers, the film’s production team said.
Sony’s Provident Films alerted producers over the weekend that SavingChristmas.com was taken over by a message from Ayyildiz Tim International Force, a hacker group described as anti-Christian, anti-Israel and anti-American.
A member of the production team told TheBlaze Sunday that the attack was “fairly sophisticated” but that they were able to quickly remove the group’s message from the website.
The hackers struck again Monday morning, filling the website’s main page with Turkish text and an image of a man in full armor. Visitors were automatically forwarded to Ayyildiz Tim’s Twitter page after hearing music and a loud gunshot.
As of 8:30 a.m. ET, the site was returned to normal.
The “Saving Christmas” team consulted with a translator who said the text on the site read: “The Turkish spirit will shine again and the use of weapons will emerge in the nation’s history as this hero will shine again.”
The translator said that the “hero” invoked in the text is likely Saladin, the Muslim sultan of Egypt, Syria, Yemen and Palestine who fought against Christian Crusaders in the 12th century.
Ayyildiz Tim has reportedly attacked Israel’s Iron Dome, the United Nations and other organizations in the past. In a separate message left last year on a U.N. website, the group said that it targets those with negative ideas about its religion and country, according to Hack Read.
That proclamation read: “Whoever has bad ideas about our religion and our country including internet websites we will fight with them, All Turkish origins from all over the world we are together, we don’t afraid anyone we will give answers, whoever let cruelty, and countries who make cruelty others wait our visit, Turks has no patience anymore.”
Hackers’ decision to target Cameron’s Christmas film came as a surprise to those involved in making and distributing it.
“We have expected opposition to the message of ‘Saving Christmas’ from the beginning. But we had no idea it would come from the other side of the world,” Ben Howard, senior vice president at Provident Films, told TheBlaze in a statement Sunday. “This incident only heightens our resolve to help this important message get out.”
Director Darren Doane struck a similar tone, delivering a pointed message to the hackers in a separate statement issued to TheBlaze.
“Christmas changed everything…even bad sweaters and cheesy celebrations are offensive to those who hate the true King!” Doane said. “So hack away all ye Scrooges, but the Lord has come! You can hack a site, but you can’t hack Christmas!”
It’s unclear why Ayyildiz Tim went after Cameron’s film and the group, which has a large social media presence, hasn’t mentioned its hacking of “Saving Christmas” on Twitter or Facebook.
Watch the trailer for “Saving Christmas” below: