- The Washington Times - Monday, November 9, 2015

Computer hackers aligned with the Islamic State group are being credited with sharing the log-in credentials pertaining to more than 54,000 Twitter users and encouraging their followers to use the accounts to spread propaganda across social media.

The hacker group, Cyber Caliphate, re-emerged on Twitter last Sunday and linked to a database said to contain the usernames and passwords for tens of thousands of compromised accounts, the Daily Mail reported over the weekend.

“We are back,” Cyber Caliphate announced with a tweet.

“We need years to publish what we have,” the group claimed, adding: “We will raise our flag in the heart of Europe.”

The Daily Mail contacted Twitter users named in the hack and confirmed that at least some of Cyber Caliphate’s information was legitimate.

“Yes, that’s my password,” one of the victims, a doctor, told the newspaper. “It’s shocking and worrying how they got my details.”

“I am horrified at how they got hold of my details,” another affected account holder, a Saudi-based engineer, added to their report.

The account that initially shared the credentials has since been suspended, and a spokesman for Twitter directed Daily Mail to company policy which states “Posting another person’s private and confidential information is a violation of the Twitter Rules.”

Cyber Caliphate gained notoriety in January when the hacking group breached the Twitter account of U.S. Central Command and published documents alleged to have been taken from government computer systems. The group has also been credited with gaining access to the Twitter accounts belonging to Newsweek and the International Business Times, but it has been largely quiet after its supposed leader, British hacker Junaid Hussain, was killed by a U.S. airstrike in Syria in August.

“[Hussain] was involved in recruiting ISIL sympathizers in the West to carry out lone-wolf style attacks,” Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder said in announcing Hussain’s death in September, using another name for the Islamic State group.

“He had significant technical skills and expressed a strong desire to kill Americans. … He no longer poses a threat,” he said.

Cyber Caliphate asked its followers to log-in to the hacked Twitter accounts shared last week and use the profiles to spread pro-Islamic State ideology, the Daily Mail said.

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