The U.S. military said Wednesday it was aware of a purported hacking attack by Islamic State group supporters who posted on Tuesday what they claimed to be the personal information of hundreds of U.S. servicemen and women.
“We are aware of the report but cannot confirm credibility at this time,” a Pentagon spokesman told TheBlaze, adding, “The safety of our service members is always a primary concern.”
The group, which calls itself the “Islamic State Hacking Division,” said it hacked into U.S. military computers and released the personal information of military and government personnel, including alleged names, addresses, military-issued email addresses, passwords and credit card information.
The hackers called for the information to be used for lone wolf attacks in the U.S. against servicemen and women.
Their message called specifically to “strike at your necks,” a reference to the jihadist group’s preferred execution method of beheading.
“They have us on their ‘hit list’, and we have them on ours too,” was one message that accompanied the release of the information, the Australian Associated Press reported Wednesday.
“O Crusaders, as you continue your agression [sic] towards the Islamic State and your bombing campaign against the Muslims, know that we are in your emails and computer systems, watching and recording your every move, we have your names and addresses, we are in your emails and social media accounts, we are extracting confidential data and passing on your personal information to the soldiers of the khilafah [caliphate], who soon with the permission of Allah will strike at your necks in your own lands!,” read the message.
“So wait; we too are waiting,” the hackers warned.
According to several media accounts, the information was posted using a Twitter account believed to be associated with Junaid Hussain, also known as Abu Hussain al-Britani, a British pro-Islamic State activist.
The Twitter account @IS_Hacking_Div which posted the information has since been suspended.
British media reported last week that Hussain was “Number Three” on the Pentagon’s “kill list” of key Islamic State operatives.
The Site Intelligence Group which monitors jihadist activity reported that the pro-Islamic State hacking group claimed to have leaked the information of nearly 1,500 military and government workers.
TheBlaze is unable to independently authenticate the claims that the names, addresses, passwords and other information was genuine.
The same group in March claimed to have posted the information of 100 U.S. military personnel along with a similar call to “kill them in their own lands.”
However, if the latest leaked batch of information included passwords to authentic U.S. military email accounts, the newest breach will raise major questions about U.S. government data protection.