BLACKOPS Cyber (BOC), a U.S. based Cyber Intelligence firm, located a new type of threat in October which is indicative of the latest focus of the terrorist organization – technical resource development for lone wolves around the world.
BOC revealed in a report to authorities that the team had identified where a well-known ISIS hacking team was sharing access links as well as vulnerabilities to widely used surveillance systems. Through late Summer and early Fall BOC witnessed the merger of two ISIS hacking groups that posted the surveillance camera links. “It literally took pace before our eyes,” said a BLACKOPS Cyber spokesperson.
The cameras were located around the world, in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America. Along with the lists of cameras, the terrorists posted a video on how to access them. After examining the video, a BOC technical operative determined the vulnerability was “a viable rootkit vulnerability that would not require a lot of skill to execute.”
BOC noted that there is a need for video surveillance companies examine their security vulnerabilities and address them as needed, adding that some systems may be vulnerable and others may not.
BLACKOPS Cyber stated that their primary concern was that terrorists could use control of the camera’s to aid and conceal the activities of lone wolves. However, the concern for using the access to prepare for an attack exists as well, according to their spokesperson who said, “While the cameras can be used to conceal an attack, they can also be used to plan and execute one. ISIS operatives and lone wolves have been known to surveil an area extensively before carrying out an attack, and this access makes that much easier for them.”
Making the job of carrying out an attack easier is something that ISIS seems to be attempting through technology, according to BLACKOPS Cyber. BOC reports that they have seen an upsurge in ISIS related technical information and training over the past year.
The BOC spokesperson noted, “Technical support for lone wolves has been a recent focus for ISIS operatives. The focus on technical training for new operatives is concerning whether it is the basics of concealing their identities or much more sophisticated technical capabilities.”
For this reason, BOC maintains that it is more important than ever for intelligence agencies to protect their online sources, “ISIS operatives are not only spending a more time online, they are smarter about it. When we share our sources and resources or post critical intelligence channels on social media, they are certain to pick up on it.” According to BOC this can result in the loss of access to intel.
About the Author: GAYLE MURRAY
Gayle Murray is currently an analyst in the field of global intelligence and counter-terrorism with over 15 years experience in threat analysis, media relations, and international affairs.
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(Security Affairs – ISIS, hacking)