Islamic State has shared a spreadsheet of mobile phone numbers, email addresses, and passwords of over 1400 people on social media today, claiming that the info dump is from U.S. government and military computers.
The list included members of the U.S. Air Force, NASA, the FBI and State Department, as well as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Officials from America’s partner states also made the list, including details of British and Australian officials. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that at least eight Australians were included among the list and was able to use the list data to contact them, thus confirming that at least some of the information is current and usable.
Islamic State urged lone wolf supporters to conduct attacks against the people whose information had been released. A message from a group calling itself Islamic State Hacking Division appeared along with the spreadsheet.
“We are extracting confidential data and passing on your personal information to the soldiers of the khilafah [caliphate], who soon with the permission of Allah will strike at your necks in your own lands!”
This is deeply worrying in the context of Islamic State’s trademark brutality and violence.
The list was published via Twitter by British Jihadi Junaid Hussain and his Australian counterpart Neil Prakash. Hussain, also known as Abu Hussain Al Britani, has been involved in hacking before and was once jailed for stealing personal information from former British PM Tony Blair, according to The Daily Mail.
Despite this hacking connection, U.S. Military officials were cautious about this most recent attack, in light of claims by Islamic State in the past. A similar claim in March of this year was revealed to be exaggerated, with the information released being already freely available. In fact, according to Professor Greg Barton of Deakin University, an expert on global Islamic politics, this is probably much the same thing. He describes the probable hacking techniques as “amateurish” and the yield as “low hanging fruit.”
Regardless of how the information was acquired, authorities around the world are concerned about the release of the information, due to the possibility of its use by lone wolf attackers. The Twitter account for Islamic State Hacking Division has been taken down four times only to resurface multiple times.
It is unclear whether Islamic State Hacking Division is connected to the group’s online division known as the “Cybercaliphate.”
[Image via Liveleak/SMH]