Today, in response to the hacker group Anonymous declaring digital war on the Islamic State after the Paris attacks, the United Kingdom was hit with a massive denial of service (DDoS) attack in an apparent act of cyber revenge. The attack is still going on and can be seen with the website Digital Attack Map. Anonymous declared it had taken down more than 5,000 Twitter accounts related to the Islamic State and forced ISIS to move much of their online operations to the “dark web,” where only those with credentials can access.
The BBC reported on comments by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne of the United Kingdom that ISIS is actively building a cyber attack capability in order to damage UK infrastructure and to kill people. Targets include hospitals, air traffic control, power plants, and the like.
“From our banks to our cars, our military to our schools, whatever is online is also a target,” Mr. Osborne said. “The stakes could hardly be higher. If our electricity supply, or our air traffic control, or our hospitals were successfully attacked online, the impact could be measured not just in terms of economic damage but of lives lost.”
He added: “They do not yet have that capability. But we know they want it, and are doing their best to build it.”
ISIS has already shown a remarkable ability to use the internet for recruiting and propaganda purposes. A cyber warfare capability is a logical next step and is considered imminent.
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