“None are believed to have served in the Middle East, or to have been particularly outspoken against Islamic State.” Those who cower in fear before the threat of the Islamic State should remember: there is no way to tell when or where they will strike. The proper response to them is not to live in fear, but to stand resolutely and defend the principles of a humane and just civilization.
“Islamic State posts Australian hit list after hacking addresses, mobile numbers,” by Nino Bucci, Sydney Morning Herald, August 12, 2015:
Islamic State has hacked the personal information of Australian Defence Force employees and their relatives, a Victorian MP, and several public servants, and urged home-grown terrorists to attack them, in a chilling online breach.
Many of the Australians whose mobile phone numbers, email addresses, online passwords, and home suburbs were published had no idea their safety had been compromised until contacted by Fairfax Media on Wednesday.
Islamic State bragged for hours on social media about the dump of information relating to more than 1400 people, most of them supposedly US military personnel, and accompanied it with a terrifying call-to-arms.
But Australian authorities were caught on their heels, with Defence personnel and the Victorian MP among those who were unaware of the hack.
This is despite Australia’s most senior Islamic State militant, former Melbourne man and terror recruiter Neil Prakash, posting links to the information on social media about 4.30am on Wednesday.
A message from the Islamic State Hacking Division, which accompanied the spreadsheet of personal details, warned: “know that we are in your emails and computer systems, watching and recording your every move.
“We have your names and addresses, we are in your … social media accounts.
“We are extracting confidential data and passing on your personal information to the soldiers of the khilafah [caliphate], who soon with the permission of Allah will strike at your necks in your own lands!”
Fairfax Media found the details of at least eight Australians in the list, including a mother who is employed by the ADF, a Victorian MP, employees or former employees of NSW Health, and an Australian National Audit Office employee.
The brother of a Defence force employee and a former Army reservist were also compromised.
Fairfax Media will not publish the names of those on the list.
Half of those whose information had been leaked – including the MP, a Defence employee, the former reservist, and the relative of a Defence employee – confirmed they had first learnt about the breach when contacted by Fairfax Media….
Prakash, a former attendee of the Al-Furqan Islamic Centre in Springvale South, urged his Twitter followers to share the hacked information, also tweeting “cyber war got em shook!”.
Other prominent militants, including British man Junaid Hussain, who is third on a CIA kill list of Islamic State operatives, also used social media to promote the leak and encourage attacks.
The Australians compromised by the hack appear to have few connections to each other, but at least half were employed by Defence, had been a reservist, or had a family member in the armed forces.
None are believed to have served in the Middle East, or to have been particularly outspoken against Islamic State.
Curiously, at least three had graduated from Queensland universities.
Most of the passwords listed related to the personal email accounts or devices of those who were hacked, rather than work accounts.
Some of the information was outdated, but it is possible to locate somebody’s position using only their mobile phone number….