The cyber hacker affiliated with the Islamic State Hacking Division, responsible for exposing the personal information of hundreds of U.S. military and government personnel, has been killed in a drone strike.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Junaid Hussain, also known as Abu Hussain al-Britani, was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Syria on Aug. 25. Hussain had been pinpointed in a “targeted strike” outside the Syrian city of Raqqa, the Journal says.
U.S. officials have not confirmed his death.
It is unclear if the drone strike was conducted out of Incirlik Air Base, Turkey — where the United States, in addition to stationing F-16 fighter jets, recently began launching armed drone strikes — or elsewhere.
Hussain, on behalf of the IS Hacking Division, in early August published names, emails, passwords and phone numbers of more than 1,480 members in the Air Force, Marine Corps, NASA, FBI, State Department, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The group urged “lone wolves” to “process the info and assassinate,” according to tweets sent out by Hussain’s account, which was suspended shortly afterward.
The Defense Department and FBI were investigating the hack.
“We are still looking into the incident,” Marine Lt. Col. Jeffrey Pool, a Pentagon spokesman, said Aug. 12.
“We don’t really have much [information] because most of the email addresses appear to be really old and passwords listed in the tweet don’t match up with our password strength requirements,” he said at the time of the incident.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno that same day addressed the hack in his final briefing at the Pentagon, saying that “this is the second or third time they’ve claimed that and the first two times I’ll tell you, whatever lists they got were not taken by any cyberattack.”
“This is no different than the other two,” Odierno said. “But I take it seriously because it’s clear what they’re trying to do … even though I believe they have not been successful with their plan.”
Hussain has also been linked to the so-called Cyber Caliphate group, said to be a sect of the IS Hacking Division. Hussain is believed to have aided the group in hacking the official U.S. Central Command Twitter and YouTube accounts, according to a report from The Guardian.
The group in January exposed similar information through various tweets posted on CENTCOM’s profile; in May, the Cyber Caliphate exposed documents meant solely for official use that contained personal identifying information of Defense Department personnel through Newsweek’s Twitter account.