Hacker Group VandaSec has revealed that the government was involved with the IP addresses used to recruit potential ISIS members. The UK states that their involvement with the users of the addresses was indirect, claiming that, “how their customers use this internet connection is beyond our control” yet this would seem a rather large deflection when considering that which has come of their use.
A hacker group by the name of “VandaSec” has unearthed details of internet protocol (IP) addresses being used by jihadists to access Twitter accounts used to carry out recruitment online. The hackers claim that at least three Islamic State supporters’ social media accounts are run from IP addresses that link back to the British government’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
“Don’t you think that’s strange?” one of the hackers told the Daily Mirror, “We traced these accounts back to London, the home of the British intelligence services.”
At first glance, the IP addresses seem to be based in Saudi Arabia, but upon further inspection, using specialist tools, they appeared to link back to the DWP. This discovery has sparked rumors that someone within the DWP is running ISIS-supporting accounts or that they were created as a honeypot to entrap budding terrorists on the edge of action.
However, when Mirror Online traced the IP addresses obtained by VandaSec, they found the addresses actually pointed to a series of unpublicized transactions between Britain and Saudi Arabia. It was learned that the British government sold a large number of IP addresses to two Saudi Arabian firms. This evidence caused the Cabinet Office to admit to selling the IP addresses to the Saudi firms earlier this year. The DWP denied owning the IP addresses, this however does not change the fact that these IP addresses were used by extremists to spread their message of hate on social media by the United States’ number one ally in the Middle East, or so it would seem on paper.
“The government owns millions of unused IP addresses which we are selling to get a good return for hardworking taxpayers,” a Cabinet Office spokesperson said. “We have sold a number of these addresses to telecoms companies, both in the UK and internationally, to allow their customers to connect to the internet. We think carefully about which companies we sell addresses to, but how their customers use this internet connection is beyond our control.”
However, the government failed to reveal how much money was made from selling the IP addresses.
Sources: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/technology/hackers-trace-isis-twitter-accounts-7010417, http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-12-15/isis-twitter-handles-traced-uk-government-hackers, https://www.rt.com/uk/325994-isis-dwp-government-hackers/