Did a planned cyber attack from ISIS’s new “Cyber Caliphate” team fail Monday?
Monday, in the early morning hours ISIS began tweeting threats of a cyber attack on the United States that was to take place at 2pm EST. The attack was termed, “Message to America,” and the targets were unspecified. ISIS did successfully hack into the United States Central Command’s Twitter account in January, showing that they do have some technical ability to carry out cyber attacks, at least on a small scale. The threats also did not specify what the attack would do, only that it would be something “surprising” that “will frighten America.”
The Twitter account sending the threats was abruptly disabled around 9am the same day, and as far as we know no attack occurred. It is possible that the threats were made by people simply looking to frighten others with no plans of actual attack, or if there was an ISIS cyber attack that simply failed.
More serious threats have been made against London. A group of accounts on several online forums have been posting pictures of rifles and other weapons loaded into a car and using the twitter hashtag #LondonAttack. The Garland, Texas shooters used the hashtag #TexasAttack. Some of these accounts have shared ISIS propaganda before. One user tweeted, “If any Muslim is around Covent Garden, leave the area.”
Another tweeted, “Brothers n sisters, if you are in Europe, stay away from police stations or government buildings.”
One Etihad flight last week was cancelled after an Australian ISIS fighter claimed that there was a bomb on board. His claim turned out to be untrue, but the plane still had to be grounded while a bomb squad went over it.
Authorities are taking the threats seriously, although they were unable to determine where the people posting the threats are located or whether or not they are legitimate. ISIS is, after all, a terrorist organization- they thrive by causing terror.