ISIS cyberattack capabilities are unorganized, underfunded -- for now

Pro-ISIS hackers are largely unsophisticated, but they are looking for experts, Flashpoint says

The U.S. and its allies should be concerned about cyberattacks from ISIS-affiliated groups, but the hackers are poorly organized and likely underfunded, at least in the short term, according to a new report.

Several pro-ISIS hacking groups announced this month they are joining together to form the United Cyber Caliphate, but the groups seem to have limited abilities, according to a report from security intelligence research group Flashpoint. Still, with new coordination, "even limited success could inflate their notoriety and enable them to continue to grow their capabilities and attract talent," Flashpoint said.

Pro-ISIS hackers have compromised some Twitter accounts, and the groups are focusing on coordinating and elevating their cyberattacks, said Laith Alkhouri, a co-founder at Flashpoint.

But "until recently, our analysis of the group's overall capabilities indicated that they were neither advanced nor did they demonstrate sophisticated targeting,” Alkhouri said in a statement.

Before the United Cyber Caliphate, pro-ISIS hackers were divided up into at least five distinct groups that launched their own campaigns, Flashpoint said. So far, pro-ISIS hacking groups have focused on government, banks, and media outlets as their targets, with publicity one of the main goals of the attacks.

"These attacks remain relatively novice-level and are mostly attacks of opportunity," Flashpoint said. "Such attacks include finding and exploiting vulnerabilities in websites owned by ... small businesses, and defacing or DDoSing their websites."

The groups will likely continue to launch such attacks of opportunity in the near future, Flashpoint said in the report. But the group has had some success recruiting more sophisticated hackers, and "advanced targeting and exfiltration are not far-fetched if the group is able to recruit outside experts into its fold," the report said.

Groups concerned about ISIS cyberattacks should look for the hacking groups to use deep Web forums as a training ground for ISIS followers with low-level hacking abilities to improve their skills, Flashpoint said.

Expect ISIS hackers to download hacking tools from publicly available sources and use a combination of off-the-shelf and custom malware, Flashpoint added.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags cyber attacksterrorismIsis

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?