The website of the Argentine military was subject to a cyber attack by the Islamic State on Monday warning that they would soon infiltrate countries within the southern hemisphere.
For nearly 20 minutes, the military website showed photos of armed Islamic State militants with an accompanying message that read: “We are the Islamic State. This is a threat. ISIS (or, in English, Islamic State) has arrived in Argentina and you will soon know more about us.”
— Soy Kamikaze (@kamikazegamer_) June 20, 2017
In a statement to Reuters, a spokesperson for the Argentine military said: “The page was hacked. We cannot confirm anything as yet, technicians are still examining what happened.”
“It is very difficult to know where it came from, you never know where they based,” he added.
However, Defense Minister Julio Martínez told El Mundo in a radio interview that experts believe the attack is more likely to have come from within Latin America, as Argentina is “not a country facing credible terrorist threats.”
“It looks to us to be more a creole hacker than ISIS,” Martínez speculated, meaning a hacker from Latin America.
The attack comes just a week after the website underwent security updates designed to prevent cyber attacks such as this.
Since its inception, the Islamic State has mainly targeted parts of Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and America, and has not yet carried out an attack in Latin America. Both Shiite and Sunni terrorist organizations have attempted to infiltrate Latin America, with Shiite groups backed by Iran experiencing more success than their Sunni counterparts like the Islamic State.
Argentina was home to the deadliest terrorist attack in the Western Hemisphere before September 11, 2001. In 1994, the Israeli-Argentinian Friendship Association in Buenos Aires was victim to a terrorist attack that killed 85 people and left over 300 injured. After nine years of investigation, Argentinian authorities formally accused Iran of planning the operation and Palestinian terrorist group Hezbollah of carrying it out.
Police also foiled a plot to attack the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, arresting ten people, including one minor. Meanwhile, a suspected terrorist explosion at a mall in Bogotá, Colombia, killed three people this weekend, although the Islamic State are not considered to be the perpetrators.
Cyber attacks have become a principal method of warfare for the Islamic State. The United Cyber Caliphate, an Islamic State-affiliated collective, has taken the lead in attempting to infiltrate high-traffic websites with jihadist propaganda. In April this year, the caliphate released a video urging supporters to assassinate anyone on their list of 8,787 names, which includes celebrities, politicians, religious leaders, and President Donald Trump.