As soon as he took office in January 2017, President Donald Trump unleashed the military against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria — and since that time, the terror organization has been nearly defeated and chased out of the lands they claimed for a “caliphate.”
But ISIS still remains a threat — at least online. The terror group has shifted their focus from physical terror attacks to online attacks and threats of violence in the cyber realm — and they have even targeted Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg with an apparent assassination threat.
ISIS hits the web
According to the U.K. Daily Star, a number of “pro-ISIS” hacking groups have come together and joined forces online to form what has become known as the United Cyber Caliphate (UCC)
A cybersecurity firm known as Sixgill recently released a report that documented online hacking efforts made by the remnants of ISIS, which included hacking attempts — with varying degrees of success — on multiple major websites, including Facebook itself and an untold number of Facebook accounts.
As part of the alleged Facebook hack, the UCC has circulated photoshopped pictures that show Zuckerberg on his knees while wearing an orange jumpsuit as he is beheaded by a black-clad terrorist.
The picture, an apparent threat, also included Facebook’s logo with the word “hacked” written across it and contained the message: “Go to hell, Mark.”
“We assume that ISIS is targeting Facebook to retaliate against its measures to censor pro-ISIS content and groups, and on [a] more general level because Facebook is seen as a Western symbol,” Sixgill said in a statement to the Daily Star.
Aside from Facebook, the UCC has also targeted a number of other websites — at least some of which are government-run in Asian countries — with denial of service attacks that overwhelm them with manufactured traffic and force them offline.
In all, the UCC has claimed to be responsible for the alleged hacking of some 213 websites and proudly claimed to be responsible for forcing upwards of 520 websites to go down by virtue of their cyber attacks.
The UCC has also taken a special interest in threatening the mysterious online hacktivist group “Anonymous” — which has long been opposed to ISIS — with threats along the lines of, “this is what happens if you continue to challenge us.”
The Islamic State group may have been all but defeated militarily on the battlefields of the Middle East, but they appear to still pose a threat online, and are most likely attempting to encourage their devoted followers around the globe to carry on their apocalyptic fight in small but deadly terror attacks and assassination attempts.
Hopefully, nothing comes of the cyber attacks, and this scourge of sadistic radical Islamism will soon be wiped from the face of the Earth.