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ISIS hackers have hit hundreds of Russian websites

ISIS hackers have hit hundreds of Russian websites

Hackers claiming affiliation with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have hit at least 600 Russian digital targets, ranging from a history museum to a city government website, a security firm found.

The group frequently goes by the name Cyber Caliphate. It has gained worldwide attention for infiltrating U.S. Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube accounts, the Malaysia Airlines website and the Newsweek Twitter account.

And according to new research from Moscow-based security company Group IB, the ISIS-affiliated hackers have also hit a wide range of Russian targets.

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The firm identified three distinct hacking teams tied to ISIS, dubbed “Team System Dz,” “FallaGa Team” and “Global Islamic Caliphate.”

These teams — consisting of more than 40 people — launch cyberattacks by either defacing websites or hacking social media accounts.

This fits with the hacking pattern elsewhere.

When the digital intruders got into the U.S. Central Command social media accounts, they used it to tweet out pro-ISIS statements and publish non-confidential details about retired generals and U.S. military strategies.

After taking control of the Malaysia Airlines site, the cyberattackers replaced the homepage with a fake error message, “404 Plane Not Found.”

“Despite our good protection from very complicated, but predictable threats, I think Russian Internet security services and Russian companies shouldn't undervalue ISIL capabilities, as their attacks are out of any logic and aimed to the maximum social resonance,” said Group-IB CEO Ilya Sachkov, using an alternate acronym for ISIS.

U.S. government officials have warned that ISIS-affiliated hackers could soon make the leap from relatively simple website defacement and social media intrusions to major digital assaults on critical infrastructure.

“I’ve been surprised it hasn’t happened yet,” said Michael Hayden, a previous director of both the CIA and National Security Agency, in January.