January 12, 2015

ISIS hacks U.S. military social media, but was it really them?

Today, ISIS hackers or their sympathizers apparently broke into the U.S. military's social media and posted seriously threatening messages.  It's not really that scary, but it is meant to be intimidating as well as a morale boosting win for ISIS supporters.
It is not clear whether the hackers are actually with the Islamic State, sympathizers with the militants, or simply pulling a prank on the Pentagon. But J.M. Berger, an analyst and non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, said there is reason to believe it could be someone affiliated directly with the Islamic State.
Here's my take on this. If I were Russia or China, if the hacking against the U.S. government or say...Sony, looked as if it were coming from ISIS or North Korea, that would not be a bad thing. In fact it would be really convenient for me.

It distracts the West from my own nefarious intentions, and it looks like it might continue to spur further fanatical terror attacks that cost me nothing but harm my geo-political enemies.

Russia is suffering from sanctions (supposedly) and certainly from the price of oil. They have every motivation to be angry with the West. It's not beyond them to lash out in ways they believe they have no cost to undertake. And China has had a relentless push into cyber espionage since the Clinton era. It's part of their DNA at this point.

Paranoid? Maybe, but if I were U.S. Intel, I would not overlook either of those possibilities.
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