The menace of ISIS is increasing exponentially and the violence caused by this terrorist group has inflicted severe damage to the lives of several thousands. However, the brutality of ISIS is not just limited to certain geographical locations; it transcends into the virtual world of the internet and has been affecting millions around the globe. Several of the hacks carried out are not the work of ISIS but of their many supporting hacking groups who use their hacking skills and try to inflict damage upon computer network systems of various governmental institutions and other important organisations such as news media.
The latest in the line of attacks on news media portals is the attack on the French news network TV5Monde. This cyber-attack led to an emergency meeting of the various media groups in France to gauge the probability of more such attacks in future. The attack on TV5Monde was carried out in April this year and the entire network was down for 3 hours.
Cyber security experts at FireEye have stated that the attacks are not just carried by the ISIS personnel but also by other hacking groups especially from Russia and China who are ISIS sympathisers. Also, the attacks are not limited to large news networks but are also targeted towards smaller news networks like WBOC and Albuquerque Journal. The intent of these attacks is to not only inflict the damages but also to get advance information about the various news stories which would feature on these news networks and also information pertaining to various news reporters.
Though ISIS was formed in 2013, the hacking groups which are now termed as pro-ISIS have been carrying out such attacks even prior to that. The growing menace of these attacks needs to be addresses immediately since these are serious threats to pro-democratic and free media.