A new message purportedly released by Islamic State hackers contains personal information of United States military personnel. But could it actually have been done by Russia? The threat was tweeted by the now defunct Twitter account @cyybercaliphate. However, the veritability as to whether the Cyber Caliphate has any real connection to ISIS is up for debate.
According to experts at the cybersecurity firm iSight Partners, Cyber Caliphate is likely what spies call a “false flag” operation—set up to appear as if it is representing one side in a conflict, but actually working on behalf of someone else. What’s more, iSight says it believes the “Cyber Caliphate” is actually operated by a group of Russians—not ISIS sympathizers.
The latest list released by the Cyber Caliphate referred to this new list as a “kill list.” It allegedly provides not only the names, addresses, phone numbers, emails, and other personal information on selected military personnel, but also their last known location. However, it comes at a time when Russia has been increasing its presence in Syria and aiding Syrian President Bashar Assad in combating not only ISIS, but also anti-Assad rebels. The United States currently supports anti-Assad rebels. Earlier today, CNN reported that “President Barack Obama authorized the resupply of Syrian Kurds and the Arab-Syrian opposition.”
Last month the Cyber Caliphate released a threat against the United States on the anniversary of 9/11. Nothing came of it.