Hacker groups aiding ISIS in takedown of news media sites

For a while now we’ve witnessed the brutality of Islamic State, but less in the news is the cyber terrorism carried out by it. However that’s a big part of the arsenal for this group and media outlets have been a primary target in the war. Recently the site and social media of a French TV station was taken down and defaced with messages from the group.

Following the attack on TV5Monde, media groups within France held an emergency meeting. This came after all of the network went black for more than three hours in April.

However, it’s not just the group itself carrying these attacks out. Security researchers at FireEye suspect help from hackers in both Russia and China. “What makes these ISIS-sympathizing actors different is that they are targeting news organizations of all sizes — hijacking major broadcasters, such as TV5Monde, as well as the social media accounts and websites of small market newspapers and television stations, such as the Albuquerque Journal and WBOC in Salisbury, Maryland”, the report claims. It’s an odd choice of targets, to be sure.

However, as the report points out, this isn’t new to groups from either nation, as both have a history of attacking news outlets. It’s suspected this is done in an effort to get advanced notice of stories and information on reporters, both of which indicate it’s government sponsored.

“News media organizations are enticing targets for terrorist sympathizers and national governments. Those outlets with inadequate security, from the largest globe-spanning operations to small market news stations, could find themselves as the next unsuspecting victim of ISIS-sympathizers”, FireEye researchers claim.

These attacks in support of Syria date back to 2013, but some groups suspected of being the perpetrators have histories of attacking media outlets prior to that.

Source: Beta News

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