Twitter accounts affiliated with the Islamic State have purportedly threatened a September 11 hacking attack against the United States on the 14th anniversary of the terrorist attack by al Qaeda.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. ISIS Started ‘#AmericaUnderHacks’ On Twitter
According to TRAC Terrorism, ISIS sympathizers have threatened to attack internet targets on the anniversary of September 11. They spread the message using the hashtag “America Under Hacks” on Twitter.
ISIS-affiliated accounts quickly tweeted and retweeted the news:
Threats included in the purportedly upcoming hacking include White House data and social security numbers, but no specifics were given.
2. The Threat Comes From ‘Islamic Cyber Army’ & ‘Caliphate Hackers’
The threat was started by ISIS-affiliated accounts using the usernames “Islamic Cyber Army” and “Caliphate Hackers.” Past alleged ISIS hacks have been carried out by the “Islamic State Hacking Division.” It is unknown if there is any connection between the three. With the announcement of their newest impending alleged attack on 9/11, the Islamic Cyber Army and the Caliphate Hackers released memes and other propaganda to help advertise it.
According to The Guardian, ISIS has been actively recruiting hackers. They write:
“Isis has been recruiting hackers for some time now. Some are virtual collaborators from a distance, but others have been recruited to emigrate to Syria,” said JM Berger, co-author of Isis: The State of Terror. “Activity targeting the west is just part of their portfolio. They’re also responsible for maintaining internet access in Isis territories, for instance, and for instructing members on security.”
3. ISIS Hackers Allegedly Obtained Classified U.S. Military Data Before
According to NBC, last month the Islamic State Hacking Division “posted what it said was the personal information of hundreds of members of the military and government personnel, and urged terrorists to carry out attacks.”
Personal information released included “names, emails, passwords, and phone numbers of personnel that included individuals from the Air Force, the Marines, NASA and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.”
However, the U.S. government did not verify the veracity of these alleged ISIS claims.
4. The Twitter Handle of ‘Islamic Cyber Army’ is Down
The Islamic Cyber Army, one of the alleged ISIS accounts that helped begin #AmericaUnderHack, has since been taken down by Ghost Security. According to their website:
Ghost Security is an internationally based nonprofit counter terrorism organization that specializes in combating terrorism on the digital front lines of today utilizing the internet and social media as a weapon for change. Our operations consist of collecting real time threat intelligence, reporting of potential terror attacks against governments and citizens, slowing the online recruitment of terrorist groups and silencing the spread of propaganda and hate.
5. Tomorrow Is the 14th Anniversary of 9/11
ISIS is trying to capitalize on American fears of a repeated attack on September 11. On September 11, 2001, four coordinated terrorist attacks against the United States forever changed the course of history. Four passenger airliners were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists with the intention of flying them into landmark buildings. American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were flown into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City. American Airlines Flight 77 was crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. United Airlines Flight 93 was headed toward Washington, D.C., but was crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers overtook the hijackers. It is believed the intended target of Flight 93 was either the White House or the Capitol Building. The attacks claimed the lives of 2,996 people, including the 19 terrorists.