North Korea, with its previous technologically laggard image, may have just shocked the world with some alleged hacking savvy, but when ISIS comes to mind, so does the terrorists’ digital bent.
The Islamist militants renowned for their bloodthirsty beheading videos and slick social media propaganda, may have extended their skills into low-level hacking, a cyber-security human rights group believes.
The Citizen Lab obtained new malware that has befallen the ISIS opposition group “Raqqa is being Slaughtered Silently,” or RSS, and released an analysis of it on Thursday.
The researchers from the University of Toronto can’t confirm that the cyber-attack is coming from Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, especially since the Syrian regime led by Bashar al-Assad has also used Trojan horse software to fight activists since 2011.
But the workings of the malware, its intended target and what it achieves for the attacker lead The Citizen Lab to suspect ISIS the most.
ISIS hates RSS
ISIS is particularly motivated to strike RSS.
The Islamist extremist militants like to depict their stronghold city of Raqqa to the world as a caliphate paradise, where life under strictest Sharia is practically Heaven on Earth.
But RSS activists in the city reveal on social media Raqqa’s bleeding underbelly, the terrorizing of residents.
Warnings of graphic content speckle its Twitter feed, where photos of public beheadings and stonings of residents in Syrian cities are posted in unflinching detail.
RSS also reports coalition airstrike hits against ISIS and warns Raqqa residents about new strict Sharia rules the militants impose on them.