Junaid Hussain, who had been previously jailed for hacking, identified as founder of group that attacked US military Twitter account
The “CyberCaliphate” group that hacked the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the US Central Command was founded by a British citizen, identified as Junaid Hussain.
Hussain is aged 20 and was also previously jailed for hacking the personal address book of former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Hussain was identified as the founder of the CyberCaliphate” group that hacked the @CENTCOM Twitter account, representing the command that oversees operations in the Middle East earlier this week.
The CyberCaliphate hackers defaced the Twitter feed with messages praising Islamic State for around 30 minutes (pictured above). Central Command’s YouTube account was also altered to feature two videos titled “Flames of War ISIS Video” and “O Soldiers of Truth Go Forth.”
And now according to Reuters, which quoted government sources and private sector security experts, Hussain is strongly believed by investigators to be the leader of CyberCaliphate, although they do not know if he was personally involved in hacking the US Central Command accounts.
Investigators believe that Hussain was the main individual behind a Twitter account that operated under the pseudonym Abu Hussain al Britani, according to the Reuters sources. That account was linked to CyberCaliphate in other cyber attacks.
Hussain first came to notoriety back in 2012 when he was a 17 year old teenager. Despite his youth, Hussain was the leader of a hacker group called TeamPoison, which earlier in that year had attacked the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist Hotline.
Birmingham-based Hussain was quickly arrested, as was another TeamPoison member.
In June 2012 Hussain pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. Hussain was apparently involved in the nuisance phone calls that “had the effect of preventing legitimate callers getting through”.
At that time, Hussain also pleaded guilty to an offence contrary to Section 1 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990, which related to the illegal acquisition and publication of former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s address book in June 2011 by TeamPoison. Another offence was left to lie on file.
A month later in July 2012, Hussain was jailed for six months for the above offences, but now it seems that he could in the frame for more serious crimes, if investigators determine that he was responsible for the US Central Command hack.
A potential wrinkle has been added though, because it is reported that Hussain moved to Syria after he served his prison sentence in the United Kingdom. And Hussain’s British wife reportedly said on her Twitter account last week that her husband had been killed in a drone attack.
Are you a security pro? Try our quiz!