Hackers supporting the Islamic State (Isis) terror group allegedly launched a January attack on a British solar energy company in revenge for a drone strike that killed Junaid Hussain, a British hacker in Syria.
Hussain, from Birmingham, was killed in a military drone strike in Syria in August 2015 according to US officials. The 21-year-old had been described as a “top cyber jihadist” and is believed to have fled to Syria in 2013. The Homeland Security Committee said at the time that his death had sent an “unmistakable message” to Isis terrorists.
The company targeted, Solar UK, featured in an Isis video that boasted about cyber attacks on a number of organisations. The firm, comprising of 11 staff members, was attacked in late January 2016 by the so-called Caliphate Cyber Army (CCA). The site is thought to have been down for two and a half hours and replaced with CCA material. Solar UK said that the offending IP address had been traced to Kuwait.
Founder of Solar UK, Duncan Lee, told the BBC: “We just thought, ‘ah well, we’ve been hacked, fair enough.’ We didn’t know we were on a video at that stage. We were number 11 on the list. Can you believe it? Ridiculous.”
Lee also said that he thinks his company was targeted by a robot that had been searching the internet for websites with low-level security. He confirmed that the company’s security measures had been stepped up since the attack.
The former Isis hacker Hussain had been jailed for six months in 2012 for leaking former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s private contacts online, as well as making hoax calls to a counter-terrorism hotline in the UK. It was also alleged that Hussain had been involved in an Isis plot to bomb an Armed Forces Day parade in London. His wife, Sally Jones from Kent, is thought to still be in Syria.