Islamic State militants have hacked more than 54,000 Twitter accounts, and published personal details including passwords. They also posted phone numbers of the heads of CIA, FBI and NSA, online. The hack was in response to the killing of a top hacker of the group, which calls itself ‘Cyber Caliphate’, set up by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) member, Junaid Hussain. It encouraged users to seize control of these accounts, and spread ISIS propaganda.
Victims of the attack were helpless, as ISIS rhetoric appeared under their names. A half-British engineer based in Saudi Arabia said, “I am horrified at how they got hold of my details.” Junaid Hussain was from Birmingham and guided the computer hacking division of the terror group. He was killed in August by a US Drone in a joint operation carried out with Britain. Since his death, the group has kept a low profile. Earlier this year, ISIS had managed to hack The Pentagon's Twitter account. The group also taunted the West, before tweeting a link to the database of stolen Twitter accounts. They said, “We need years to publish what we have. We will raise our flag in the heart of Europe.” The account was quickly suspended by Twitter.
In September last year, NSA Chief Admiral Mike Rogers stated at a conference that he is keeping an eye on ISIS’ cyber capabilities. He said that the NSA plans to hire 6,200 cyber employees to detect and deflect cyber threats. He also urged greater cooperation on cybersecurity between businesses, government and industry. ISIS has been using social media platforms to post graphic videos and recruit foreign Islamists to fight for ISIS. A month after Rogers’ conference, it was reported that an ex-Google employee of Indian origin was detained for trying to join ISIS. Munawad Salwan was a software engineer who quit his Google India job, to join the terror group. The police claimed that his conversations were tracked for months, and his hidden agenda behind visiting Saudi Arabia was to cross over to Iraq and join the Islamic State. He was also an active reader of a web propaganda that was run by sympathizers of the Islamic State.
Source: The Daily Express