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MOSCOW, March 25. /TASS/. More than 500 Russian websites were attacked by hackers of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group last year, a leading company in fraud prevention, cybercrime and hi-tech crime investigations, the Group-IB, said on Wednesday.
"According to preliminary data, some banks, companies in the construction sphere, plants, state enterprises and even schools and scientific centres have already become the victims of successful attacks," the group said in its report.
The attacks were organized through the Cyber Caliphate, a hacker group tied to the IS that in January 2015 hacked the accounts of the US Central Command, or CENTCOM, in Twitter and YouTube.
The Group-IB also found that three other hacker groups, Team System Dz, FallaGa Team and Global Islamic Caliphate, were involved in the IS activity.
"The main method that hackers are currently using is massive hacking of websites or targeted attacks on the popular Internet resources where they post their slogans and immediately publish information in the Twitter and Facebook social networks," the group said.
The company’s experts believe that the IS hackers are interested in the Russian-language and the English-language forums and platforms specializing in selling malicious software as this could allow access to various banking systems and electronic payment systems.
The Group-IB says that in future the IS hackers could launch more complex types of attacks, including on the sensitive infrastructure and an automatic process control system.
The Islamic State, set up in 2006, is an international Islamic terrorist organization operating on the territory of Iraq and Syria. The group was created as a result of a merger of 11 radical Sunni groups led by an Al Qaeda branch in Iraq.
The IS militants’ goal is to seize the Sunni part of Iraq and turn it into a militarized Islamic Sunni state as soon as the international coalition forces led by the US leave Iraq.
According to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the number of foreign mercenaries reaches 31,500. The gunmen from 80 countries, including from France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Canada and Russia, are fighting on the IS side.