Sicuramente è stato letale per Mr. Hussain, cittadino britannico che militava, se così si può dire, tra le file dei “cyber-warriors” dello Stato Islamico. Hussain, secondo quanto riportato dalla stampa statunitense, avrebbe hackerato i profili (Facebook ma non solo) di decine di militari americani pubblicandone i dati riservati. Inoltre avrebbe contribuito a rafforzare le difese cyber dei membri dell’ISIS sviluppando software per penetrare sistemi informatici. E’ stato ucciso da un drone a Raqqa, in Siria:
Islamic State didn’t build a large cyber force like the U.S.’s National Security Agency or China’s People’s Liberation Army. Instead, it had people like Mr. Hussain, a convicted hacker whose suite of inexpensive digital tools threatened to wreak havoc on even the world’s most-powerful country. Islamic State communications described him as one of the group’s secret weapons, said one person who has seen them.
U.S. officials said they believe Mr. Hussain played an important role in recruiting two American Muslims to open fire in Garland, Texas, this spring on a contest for cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. He also frequently hacked into U.S. service members’ Facebook accounts to determine personal details and future targets, one of the people familiar with the probe said. […]
Mr. Hussain grew up a book-smart teenager, according to court records and several people familiar with his case. He was planning to study computer science.
Before graduating from high school, however, he joined a group of British teens in a hacking collective called Team Poison. Using the handle “Tr1ck,” Mr. Hussain claimed responsibility for hacking into the email account of an assistant to former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Mr. Blair’s personal details, including his National ID number, the equivalent of a Social Security number, were published online.
A British court found Mr. Hussain guilty and he served a prison sentence.
Birmingham police in July 2013 arrested him for involvement in a street fight. While awaiting trial, he fled to Syria, U.K. officials said. By January 2014, he was communicating online with other British Muslims about how to join Islamic State, according to court documents.
Once living in Islamic State territory, Mr. Hussain re-emerged with a new online persona: Abu Hussain al-Britaini.
U.S. officials began to view Mr. Hussain as a top threat because he was on the leading edge of Islamic State efforts to recruit in the U.S. He would post names, addresses and photos of U.S. troops on his Twitter feed and suggest followers find and kill the person. In several instances, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Defense Department set up 24-hour watches around targeted service members, a person familiar with the situation said.
Mr. Hussain developed a hacking tool, or malware, that could be used to spy on other machines, called a remote access Trojan, or RAT. He was training other Islamic State members in how to use hacker techniques, people familiar with the case said.
In at least one interaction, according to a Wall Street Journal review of online communications, he discussed the possibility of obtaining a zero-day exploit—hacker jargon for software that takes advantage of flaws in commercial software, such as Microsoft Word, unknown to that developer. Because they are unknown, they are almost impossible to stop. […]
In August, Islamic State supporters lighted up social media over an apparent cyber bombshell. IS Hacking Division claimed responsibility for hacking into the social-media accounts of hundreds of U.S. military members. The group published lists of 1,481 names, departments, email addresses, passwords and phone numbers, warning, “we are in your emails and computer systems, watching and recording your every move, we have your names and addresses, we are in your emails and social media accounts, we are extracting confidential data.”
The hacked list of U.S. military names was retweeted on Aug. 11 by @AbuHu55ain_911, the last known social-media profile on Twitter for Mr. Hussain. […]