A series of cyberattacks on social media accounts of U.S. news outlets by hackers who support ISIS are being investigated by the FBI.
On Tuesday, Jan. 6, the Twitter accounts of Maryland-based TV station WBOC 16 and publication The Albuquerque Journal were hacked by an outfit called Cyber Caliphate. The group claims it is a part of ISIS and intends to wage a series of cyberattacks on offices and homes in the U.S.
"You'll see no mercy infidels. We are already here, we are in your PCs, in each house, in each office. With Allah's permission we began with New-Mexico and we are in Tennessee now. We hacked FBI databases. We won't stop... We know all your personal data: where you live, what you eat, your diseases, and even your health insurance cards," wrote Cyber Caliphate wrote on its Facebook page.
The page has been taken down since but the message was also posted to text-sharing service PasteBin where it can be viewed. Cyber Caliphate also claims that it has hacked into the FBI's databases.
Cyber Caliphate posted confidential data such as driving licenses, spreadsheets with names and addresses and correction records. The cover photos on the Twitter profiles of the news outlets were replaced with ISIS-themed art.
"ABQjournal's Twitter feed and Facebook page were compromised early today," said the newspaper in a statement. "The Journal reached out to Facebook and Twitter to help resolve this issue. Law enforcement agencies have been contacted are investigating."
The ABQ journal has managed to regain control of both its Twitter, as well its Facebook accounts.
WBOC 16 also acknowledged the hacking and Craig Jahelka, the station general manager, was clueless as to why the news channel had been targeted. The hackers not only managed to compromise WBOC 16's Twitter handle, but also posed as one of their reporters and published a link to the homepage that contained stolen data.
"The hacker posted pro-Islamic State propaganda on both sites including comments such as 'I love you ISIS,' and 'There is no law but Sharia!'" said WBOC 16 in a statement.
Not much is known about the identity of the hackers. WBOC 16 has managed to regain control of its website, but is still unable to log into its Twitter account.