Hackers apparently commandeered the Albuquerque Journal’s mobile app Wednesday morning, giving top billing to a story that expressed support for the Islamic extremist group ISIS and warned citizens of Albuquerque that their personal secrets were being collected through mobile devices, with plans to expand the havoc to other locations.
“You’ll see no mercy infidels. We are already here, we are in your PCs, in each house, in each office. With Allah’s permission we begin with Albuquerque,” the post said.
The story carried the headline “CHRISTMAS WILL NEVER BE MERRY ANY LONGER.” It featured a photo-illustration of a man whose face was covered by a scarf along with the words “CyberCaliphate” and “i love isis,” an apparent reference to the Islamic extremist group Islamic State, whose beheadings of Western journalists among other acts of terror spurred the U.S. to wage airstrikes in parts of Syria the group controls.
The post acknowledged a relationship between the U.S. led and sanctioned bombings of ISIS-held areas as one motive for the cyberattack.
Since at least September, news organizations globally have reported ISIS’ plans to launch a “cyber caliphate” attack targeting technology in the U.S. with hacking using encoded software that makes identifying the culprit responsible difficult.
“While the us and its satellites are bombing the Islamic State, we broke into your home networks and personal devices and know everything about you,” the post said.
It was not clear early Wednesday whether the hijacking of the Albuqeruque Journal’s mobile app was a hoax or part of some more coordinated act of mayhem.
The posting was removed at about 9 a.m. and replaced with a story that bore the headline “Bonuses for APD brass draw fire.”
The CyberCaliphate post made an ominous proclamation to citizens of Albuquerque.
“We know all personal data of Albuquerque locals: Where you live, what you eat, your diseases and even your health insurance cards,” it said.
The unknown author of the post characterized Christmas Eve 2014 as a day when lives of residents of Albuquerque will forever change: “You will look around more often, will call up your children more often, think of your security more often, but that won’t help you.”
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Contact Patrick Malone at 986-3017 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @pmalonenm.