A group linked to ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), and calling itself the Islamic State Hacking Division, has released a "hit list" containing the personal information of 100 current and former American military service members. The personal information includes the names and addresses, along with photos, of military personnel that have fought against ISIS. The original online threat, which has since been removed, called for attacks against the list of exposed military.
The New York Times reports that the information was compiled from public records, online searches, news stories, and social media platforms.
The American government has repeatedly urged military members to limit their social media presence. The U.S. Marine Corps released a statement on the threat, stating: "It is recommended Marines and family members check their online/social footprint, ensuring privacy settings are adjusted to limit the amount of available personal information."
In an article by ABC News, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said that while service members don't need to stop using social media altogether, they do need to be cautious.
"We certainly do know that they [ISIS] monitor social media," Kirby said. "I think there's a general understanding here that this is an environment that this particular enemy has proven adept at using and we don't want to give them any more advantage than they're already trying to gain."
Concerns surround 'lone wolf' American ISIS sympathizers and other violent extremists who could try to execute an attack on U.S. soil. The Army has released a guide for military members on safe social media usage; tips include deactivating location data and accepting friend requests only from people you know.
Here are resources from the U.S. Army and the Center for Identity on securing your social media information and location data:
Funded by a partnership with the Texas Legislature, and powered by the Center for Identity, IDWise is a resource center for the public on identity theft, fraud, and privacy.