An Islamic State (Isis)-affiliated hacker group called the Caliphate Cyber Army (CCA)has released a new "kill list" on social media, with names, addresses and emails of over 4,000 people from across the globe. While almost half of the names in the list are of Americans, residents of the UK, France, Canada and India have also reportedly made it to the list.
The hacker group distributed the list on the encrypted messaging service, Telegram, calling for Isis supporters to target the individuals listed. "O wolves of the Islamic State, [this is a] very important list, kill them immediately," the hacker group said.
According to reports, over 280 names on the list belong to Indian nationals, although it is still uncertain if those listed are civilians or military and/or government officials. Coincidentally, some reports credits the UCC (United Cyber Caliphate) for releasing the list. However, since the CCA was incorporated into the UCC when the various pro-Isis hacker groups were merged in April 2016, the credit could perhaps be attributed to both hacker groups.
It also remains unclear as to why Isis would target those in the list. According to Voactiv, the list appears to be random and has been lifted from an unnamed online business platform not unlike LinkedIn, which was created in 1999. This indicates that the methods used to obtain the list of personal information may have little to do with technical skills and sophisticated knowledge of hacking.
Pro-Isis hacker groups have of late taken to releasing similar kill lists on social media. Previous such lists included names and personal details of US military personnel as well as civilians. The UCC recently released its longest ever kill list of 8,000 names, which not unlike the current list, likely contained little to no new information on the people, which wasn't already available online. The UCC made headlines when it released a hit list of thousands of New Yorkers in April 2016, shortly after announcing itself as the joint hacking arm of Isis. However, the list was later found to contain outdated information, which may also be the case in this instance.
A recent report by ICIT (Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology) indicates that although Isis hacker groups are currently fairly unskilled, the collective is gaining momentum and has the tools necessary to become a major threat to world governments in the near future.