(Cyberwar.news) The Islamic State is “actively attempting” to acquire software tools that would enable it to launch destructive cyber attacks and engage in other hacking, the Justice Department’s chief national security prosecutor said earlier this week.
As reported by Fox News, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin also noted that the group is intent on causing major damage using cyber tools while speaking at a Financial Times Cyber Security Summit at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Carlin did say that currently there is no evidence to suggest that ISIS possesses the ability to launch a destructive cybeattack because, as he said, if they did, “they’d use it.” However, when speaking broadly about the group’s overall cyber ambitions, he mentioned an ongoing case that involves theft of data when acknowledging ISIS’ less sophisticated capabilities.
As Fox News reported further:
Kosovo citizen Ardit Ferizi, who was extradited to the United States from Malaysia in January, faces federal charges tied to his alleged hacking of a U.S. company for the purposes of stealing personally identifiable information on U.S. military and federal personnel and then turning that information over to ISIS. That information was later distributed by British-born ISIS operative Junaid Hussain in a social media campaign that urged the group’s followers to target the individuals whose information was stolen.
Hussain was killed in a U.S. drone strike last summer.
Carlin also noted that ISIS has had “strategic success” in using social media as a tool of recruitment, calling the terrorist organization’s ability to target American youth especially a “Madison Avenue-quality” propaganda campaign. Fox News has reported previously that of the terrorism-related prosecutions the Department of Justice has launched in the past year, nearly all cases involve some use of social media.
In February the department convened a summit that involved U.S. national security leaders, academics and executives in the technology, media and advertising industries to mull over the ways in which terrorist groups were using the Internet to recruit and to spread propaganda.
That gathering was described as a “brainstorm” session that was intended to provide the participants the opportunity to lend their respective talents in digital movement to counter violent extremism.
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