Islamic State-Linked Hackers Post U.S. Government Employee ‘Hit List’

A man types on a keyboard in front of a computer screen on which an Islamic State flag is displayed, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, February 6, 2016. Twitter Inc has shut down more than 125,000 terrorism-related accounts since the... REUTERS/DADO RUVIC - RTX25PB7

Hackers from the Islamic State-linked “United Cyber Caliphate” used the secure messaging platform Telegram to post a “hit list” of U.S. government employees on Monday, including sensitive personal information such as addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.

“The list includes individuals from the State Dept. and Homeland Security, as well as the departments of energy, commerce, health and defense,” reports The Foreign Desk.

Vocativ says the list contains 43 people linked to the above-mentioned departments, plus “someone who appears to have worked for Australia’s Department of Defense.” The list also targets U.S. embassies in Santiago and Kathmandu, plus the Department of the Navy in Mississippi.

The document is unambiguously titled, “Wanted to Be Killed,” rendered in English, Arabic, Spanish, Russian, and French. The document includes a message from the jihadis, reading, “USA, you are our primary goal. Your system failed to tackling our attacks. Now we will crush you again.”

They have not really been doing a lot of crushing lately, as The Foreign Desk notes the “United Cyber Caliphate” is the latest name for an umbrella group of ISIS-affiliated hackers who have been battling the hacker collective Anonymous and failing to pull off such big-time attacks as hacking Google.

Although the “hit list” was accompanied with a photo of the U.S. State Department covered by the message “HACKED,” there is scant evidence a hacking intrusion occurred. Vocativ said the information was apparently drawn from publicly available sources and, in some cases, the entries were incomplete or repetitive. The surface addresses associated with some of the targets appear to be of dubious accuracy, as Vocativ said there are “no specific home or work addresses” included. Some of the included phone numbers were general contact numbers for government departments, easily obtained by anyone.

“Kill lists” are popular propaganda items with these ISIS-linked hackers. Previously, such documents have ostensibly targeted U.S. military personnel and police officers in Minnesota.

The UK Daily Mail suggests the most disturbing conclusion to be drawn from the new “kill list” is that ISIS and its fans are still very much active on Telegram, despite administrators promising to clean out the infestation and blocking 78 ISIS-related channels in 12 languages over the past few months.