A Birmingham hacker who is believed to be fighting for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, better known as ‘ISIS,’ is suspected of having orchestrated the defacement of U.S. CENTCOM social media accounts earlier this week.
Investigators believe that 20-year-old Junaid Hussain helped administrate a Twitter account that operated under the pseudonym “Abu Hussain al Britani,” which was linked to the Cyber Caliphate account responsible for the cyber attacks against CENTCOM.
The world first learned of Hussain back in 2012 when the hacker was found guilty of infiltrating the address book of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, publishing details from that book online, and making hoax calls to a counter-terrorism hotline. As a result of his exploits, he was sentenced to six months in jail.
It is believed that Hussain escaped to Syria while on bail. As of this writing, investigators have yet to review all of the technical information from the CENTCOM attacks in order to determine whether they originated from that country.
Back in September of 2014, the Daily Mail cited Hussain as the leader of ISIS’s cyber activities and explained that he was attempting to recruit other hackers in an attempt to build a ‘Cyber Caliphate’ that could launch cyber attacks against Western targets.
Since then, Hussain’s Cyber Caliphate has claimed responsibility for cyber attacks against Albuquerque Journal in New Mexico and WBOC, a Delaware television station.
The wife of Hussain has claimed on Twitter that her husband was killed by a drone attack last week. However, U.S. and European security forces have stated that there is no confirmation Hussain is dead.
The United States military has reported that there was no “operational effect” from the recent cyber attacks. A string of military files were released to the public, but military officials have said that none of these documents were classified.