ISIS Wannabe Hacks Huffington Post Blogger

The so-called Islamic State Hacking Division claims a new victim.

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Apr 13 2015, 4:27am

​Image: Tammy54/Shutterstock

​The hacking group that calls itself the Islamic State Hacking Division claimed another victim on Sunday night, defacing the biography of a Huffington Post blogger.

The hacking group changed the author's page of Dilly Hussain, the deputy editor of British Muslim news site 5Pillars, replacing it with a propaganda message apparently aimed at Israel, and swapping his headshot with an ISIS flag. This hack comes almost three weeks after the group claimed to have breached a Pentagon database and leaked the names of 100 US service men and women.

"O Jews! O Crusaders! If you want to protect your blood, increase your wealth, and live in safety from our swords, then there are only two choices," reads the message, which was titled "HACKED BY THE ISLAMIC STATE HACKING DIVISION."

A member of the hacking collective, which supports the extremist group known as the Islamic State or ISIS, told Motherboard that he had gained access to the accounts of a total of five Huffington Post bloggers. However, he only defaced that of Dilly Hussain because "the other journalist accounts I got into was talking about cakes and cooking and lifestyle," he said.

The member also sent a screenshot that appeared to show the Huffington Post backend system.

The Huffington Post did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

The hacker also claimed to have hacked into the BBC Redux, a digital library archive for the TV giant. He supported this claim sharing another screenshot, apparently of the site's backend.

The hacking group also boasted of its new feat on Twitter.

The member declined to say how he breached the accounts. Three weeks ago, after the group's first hack, The Daily Beast repo​rted that most of the names of the US service men and women published by the group were publicly available. And at the time, a US defense official told Motherboard that there was "no indication of a data breach from our systems."

But the hacker claimed to have really hacked into Pentagon system, although he didn't provide any evidence to back up his claims.

It's unclear who is behind the group, which is likely not directly affiliated with ISIS. A similar group, this one called CyberCaliphate, has been defacing news websites, the Twitter account of CENTCOM, and even took down a major French TV station last week.

Some accused a notorious British hacker known as TriCk, who has reportedly fled the country to join ISIS last year of being behind the CyberCaliphate group. The hacker, whose name is Junaid Hussain, though now he goes by Abu Hussain Al Britani, denied being involved in interviews with Motherboard and M​ashable.

But a former member of TeaMp0isoN, the hacking group where Hussain got notoriety and, ultimately, a prison sentence, told Motherboard that Hussain alerted him of the hack on the Huffington Post blogger before the information came public, and even shared a screenshot of their conversation via Kik messenger.

"Just hacked into a news website," Hussain told the former TeaMp0isoN member, according to the screenshot. "All I can do is edit the journalists existing articles tho."

Contacted by Motherboard, Hussain said he didn't do it.

"LOL what?" he answered, before adding that the he did not confess to the hack to anyone, and that he has "many people pretending to be" him.

UPDATE 04/13/2015 2:46 p.m. ET: The hacking group appeared to still have control of some Huffington Post authors' accounts on Monday afternoon. The group defaced the profile of Kelly Rigg, the executive director of the Global Call for Climate Action, replacing it with another threatening propaganda message. 

At the time of writing, the message is not visible anymore, indicating that the Huffington Post might be regaining control of the hacked accounts.