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IS militants hack Twitter accounts of thousands in revenge for killing of top hacker

10 November 2015

Islamic State militants have reportedly hacked tens of thousands of Twitter accounts and posted phone numbers of CIA and FBI chiefs online, as the group sought to avenge the killing of a top hacker of the terror group.

Details of over 54,000 Twitter accounts, including passwords, were published last week in what experts termed as a dangerous escalation of the global cyberwar.

According to The Daily Express, the group which styled itself as 'Cyber Caliphate', started by ISIS member Junaid Hussain, encouraged its followers to seize control of the accounts and use them to spread Islamic State of Iraq and Syria propaganda.

Victims could do nothing but watch as ISIS rhetoric appeared under their names.

The jihadists went on to post personal details on the social media platform which included the mobile phone numbers of the heads of the CIA, FBI and America's National Security Agency (NSA), according to the report.

While most of those affected are based in Saudi Arabia, some are feared to be British.

According to one victim, a half-British engineer based in Saudi Arabia he was horrified as to how they got hold of his details.

Birmingham-based, Hussain had led the computer hacking division for the terror group before he was killed in August by a US drone carrying out a joint operation with UK.

Accounts operated by Saudi Arabian users comprise the vast majority of the hacked accounts.

Saudi Arabia is a primary enemy of the Islamic State and the wealthy oil nation works to support nations and factions opposed to the terror organization.

According to commentators, what was perhaps the most frightening aspect of the case was that the hackers were able to target their attacks by country, and hack accounts of high ranking government officials.

Commentators said while the hacks of the kind are little more than a show of bravado, the fact they could hack accounts wherever they wanted was a cause for concern.

According to commentators, there was no reason to believe that the Cyber Caliphate could not hack the Twitter accounts of every US citizen, for example.

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