ISIS Hackers Threaten a Cyber 9/11 Against U.S. Websites
The FBI is taking the threats seriously.
On one of the most somber anniversaries in American history, FBI sounded an alarm with a warning notice sent to private industries: hackers sympathetic toward ISIS may be doxxing or hacking in earnest on September 11th.
Pointing to tweets posted with the hashtag #AmericaUnderHacks — an obvious nod to the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — ABC news reported that it’s hard to determine just how serious the hackers’ threats really are. Though there are Twitter users posting what they claim is “sensitive information about U.S. government personnel,” writes ABC’s Mike Levine, the network’s sources said “the information is available through basic Internet searches and is ‘recycled’ from several years ago.”
Regardless of how serious the threat really is, ABC reported that the FBI encouraged anyone in “business with the U.S. government to be able to defend their networks.”
While the seriousness of the Twitter threats from accounts such as Islamic Cyber Army (ICA) wasn’t easy to establish, the FBI seemed pretty sure hacks against “targets of opportunity based on technical vulnerabilities and a perceived connection to the United States or other Western countries” could happen at any time, reported ABC.
The Islamic State itself doesn’t need the help from Twitter sympathizers, as it apparently has the money and likely the manpower to do plenty of damage. In April, 2015, the Institute for National Security Studies published a paper, “Cyber Jihad in the Service of the Islamic State (ISIS)” (PDF). Authors Adam Hoffman and Yoram Schweitzer wrote that in “addition to the extensive use of social media by the organization’s operatives and supporters, ISIS’ cyber jihad includes offensive use of online space for attacks on websites.”
The authors pointed out past examples of cyber jihad, which included hacks “into the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), which is responsible for US military activity in the Middle East and for coordinating the international coalition attacks against ISIS.”