The Associated Press reports: A cyberattack aimed at unmasking Syrian dissidents has experts worried that ISIS is adding malicious software to its arsenal.
Internet watchdog Citizen Lab says an attempt to hack into systems operated by dissidents within the self-styled caliphate could be the work of hackers affiliated with ISIS.
Citizen Lab analyst John Scott-Railton said there is circumstantial evidence of the group’s involvement, and cautioned that if the group has moved into cyber-espionage, “the targets might not stop with the borders of Syria.”
The Nov. 24 attack came in the form of a booby-trapped email sent to an activist collective in Raqqa, Syria, that documents human rights abuses in ISIS’ de-facto capital. The activist at the receiving end wasn’t fooled and forwarded the message to an online safety group.
“We are wanted – even just as corpses,” the activist, whose name is being withheld to protect his safety, wrote in his message to cybersafety trainer Bahaa Nasr. “This email has a virus; we want to know the source.”
The message eventually found its way to Citizen Lab, based at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. There, Scott-Railton and malware researcher Seth Hardy determined that it could act as a kind of electronic homing beacon by revealing a victim’s Internet Protocol address. [Continue reading…]