Recent ISIS hack appears to have obtained information from Google

Kramer Phillips By Kramer Phillips | 6 years ago

Though the group that calls itself the posted the names, addresses, and photos of 100 U.S. service members on Saturday with claims that the information had been obtained by breaching military security, it turned out that at least two-thirds of the troops on the list had been featured on public Defense Department websites designed to promote the military.

Several troop members had been featured in pieces that discussed their missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the U.S.-led ongoing campaign against ISIS. Many of these service members were quoted or photographed, according to The Daily Beast.

The ISIS information leak was in the form of a website that lists the service members with a photo, the service member’s name, usually alongside his rank, and at least one address.

“The Islamic State Hacking Division (ISHD) has hacked several military servers, databases and emails and with all this access we have successfully obtained personal information,” said the message at the top of the site in both Arabic and English. “We have decided to leak 100 addresses so that our brothers residing in America can deal with you.”

The amount of skill that Islamic extremists cyber terrorists possess have always been up to debate among experts. The most recent hack seemed to suggest that the groups were a sizeable threat and that hackers had gained substantive penetration of Defense Department security. Upon further examination, however, the “hit list” that was posted appears to be nothing more than intensive Googling.

Regardless, the recent “hack” will result in a careful review on the release of information about the wars and supports the military’s ongoing call for service members to not reveal personal information on public sites.

At least 60 of the troops listed were featured on the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDs), a website created shortly after the 9/11 attacks to promote the U.S. military’s defense efforts to the public. The site is updated daily with videos, photos, and news articles, all produced by Defense Department personnel. In addition, all of the troops on the ISIS “hit list” who were quoted by the U.S. military were also featured on government websites between 2007 and January 2015.

Though none of the U.S. military websites that featured the service members listed their addresses, there are a number of public records websites that could have produce such information.

The photos associated with the troops’ names and addresses, which appear to be accurate, appear to come off social media sites.