FBI Personally Contacting Thousands of Ordinary New Yorkers Targeted by ISIS Hackers
Hackers linked to ISIS have targeted an estimated 3,000 New York residents and posted their personal information on the Internet, it was revealed on April 28.
The hackers posted ordinary citizen’s information online announcing, “We want them #Dead,” NBC New York reported. Victims’ locations ranged from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and other nearby areas. The people targeted did not appear to be politically active or government-affiliated.
One of the people affected was an 88-year-old man identified as Art, whose last name has been undisclosed, citing privacy concerns.
He told NBC4 the FBI came knocking at his door with some bad news. Agents told him that his name was posted online on the private channel of a pro-ISIS group called the United Cyber Caliphate.
Federal authorities told him to be careful when he goes out in public and to call authorities immediately if he was concerned for his safety.
But the victim said he’s not too worried about his security.
“It sounds like psychological warfare,” Art told NBC, “Make 3,000 people in this city very upset.”
“I’m not going to change my life, I’m not going to let this get me down,” he said. “I’m not going to even do what they’re saying ‘be cautious in the street,’ because it’s nonsense, it’s nonsense.”
Meanwhile, the FBI and NYPD plan to personally visit the homes of New Yorkers that have been targeted, although they say there is no particular threat against the victims.
An FBI spokeswoman, Carol Cratty, told NBC in a statement, “While our standard practice is to decline comment on specific operational and investigative matters, the FBI routinely notifies individuals and organizations of information collected during the course of an investigation that may be perceived as potentially threatening in nature.”
Cratty added, “Potential threats may relate to individuals, institutions, or organizations, and are shared in order to sensitize potential victims to the observed threat, and to assist them in taking proper steps to ensure their safety.”
The personal information was posted online momentarily then taken down.
This isn’t the first time personal information has been released by hackers linked to ISIS. In March, 55 New Jersey police officers were targeted. The information was cited in Twitter posts, which also mentioned previous hacks on the U.S. Department of Defense.
“The lone wolves r hungry for yr blood,” one tweet said, according to Newsweek.
New Jersey Transit said in a statement during the time: “The NJ Transit Information System was not compromised, however some information was breached from an outside vendor. The New Jersey Transit police are working with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI on this matter.”