The Islamic State’s cyber capabilities are becoming more sophisticated, though information published by the terrorist group in a kill list last week did not come from Defense Department networks, the leader of U.S. Strategic Command said Tuesday.
Adm. Cecil Haney, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, said his staff monitors the cyber activities of the Islamic State “on a day to day basis.”
“Clearly in the case of that group, being able to use it to recruit, use cyber to threaten and those kinds of things, we’ve seen more and more sophistication associated with that,” Adm. Haney told reporters in a Pentagon briefing. “This is something that we look at very, very closely here at Cyber Command, as well as the interagency teams that are working this piece.”
A group affiliated with the Islamic State published a list of addresses purportedly belonging to 100 U.S. service members late last week.
“Kill them in their own lands, behead them in their own homes, stab them to death as they walk their streets thinking that they are safe,” the “Islamic State Hacking Division” said.
Col. Steve Warren, director of Defense Press Operations, said as of Tuesday, 99 out of 100 personnel on the list have been notified. The department is still working to contact the one remaining person, he said.
Adm. Haney said that the information they published was not a result of hacking Defense Department information.
“I would just say wherever they got that information, it didn’t come from Department of Defense’s network,” he said. “Quite frankly it’s unfortunate, and quite frankly the safety and welfare of joint military forces and particularly people I lead is very important going forward.”
He said the military is continuing its work to educate both service members and their families on using social media with caution.
Last week’s kill list was not the first alleged hacking by the terrorist group. Earlier this year, the Islamic State hacked into U.S. Central Command’s Twitter and Youtube accounts to publish troops’ names and addresses as well as propaganda for the group.