Relatively new to the scene, the hacker collective VandaSec proved their might with a righteous hack, tracing and determining the source of several active Islamic State social media accounts used to spread extremist propaganda. While Anonymous went wide, VandaSec went deep. What VandaSec found stunned many: the accounts originated from a government office in London in the UK.
It didn’t take long before the UK pointed the finger at one of their closest allies, Saudi Arabia. (PM David Cameron flew the flag at half mast this year to honor the Saudi’s recently deceased King Abdullah.) It doesn’t matter either way, as the two countries act hand-in-glove as far as the Middle East goes, and the UK-Saudi Alliance presents itself as fervently anti-ISIS.
VandaSec brought their evidence to The Mirror, and detailed their tracing efforts and results. It appears that someone took the time and trouble, to make it look as if the Twitter accounts originated outside the UK. The Mirror Online reports:
“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 [British] Department of Work and Pensions…”
The Mirror then tries to sanitize the story to the UK government’s liking, claiming… get this… They “learned” from someone, somewhere that those addresses were sold in an transaction that is not recorded to some unknown entities in Saudi Arabia and that the reason it still implicates the UK is because the records of this hypothetical transaction hadn’t yet been updated to reflect it.
I wonder how long those social media accounts have been in use. It doesn’t matter, for Middle East purposes, the U.K.-Saudi Alliance share the same interests and Saudi Arabia continues to be the U.K.’s Number One Customer for arms and military related purchases. The Mirror Online did no further investigation and was unable to supply a source or citation. Great journalism guys. You’re one step away from becoming the Orwellian “Ministry of Truth”.
Kerry-Ann Mendoza (The Canary) made a sharp observation about the government’s “well, we can’t do much about it” approach. Given that this is quite literally ISIS organizational activity online:
The government appears remarkably nonchalant about the affair, especially considering the laws Theresa May is currently proposing to clamp down on the very internet use enabled by her own government.
May has fast-tracked her 300-page Investigatory Powers Bill… The Bill is designed to make legal every violation of privacy exposed by Edward Snowden and Wikileaks in recent years.
- Internet and phone companies will be compelled to store your data for 12 months and provide it to police, security services or government agencies on request.
- The current panel of three oversight commissioners will be replaced with a single judge.
- Internet and phone companies will be compelled to maintain “permanent capabilities” to intercept and collect the personal data passing over their networks.
- The Bill makes it explicitly legal for the UK government to engage in the mass collection and surveillance of civilian data, and to force the compliance of internet and telecommunications companies in that surveillance, for the first time in our history.
- If passed, all of our personal and private communications cease to be protected from scrutiny by this or any future government.”
Yikes. Good luck to our friends and fighters for the truth in the UK.