The online struggle against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took a new turn over the weekend when a group calling itself the "Islamic State Hacking Division" released an apparent "hit list," which it claims lists the personal information of 100 members of the U.S. military, according to reports.
A U.S. Defense Department official told Reuters after the information was released that they could not confirm the authenticity of the post, but did say they were "looking into it."
A spokesperson for the U.S. Marine Corps released a statement saying the NCIS is notifying the Navy and Marine personnel affected by the posting, adding: "It is recommended Marines and family members check their online/social footprint, ensuring privacy settings are adjusted to limit the amount of available personnel information."
The information posted online appears to include names, photos and purported addresses of military personnel who have taken part in the fight against the terror group, The New York Times reports. The alleged ISIS group said it was posting the information "so that our brothers in America can deal with you."
Western officials have acknowledged the digital savvy of ISIS, which has used social media to recruit widely in the West and to spread propaganda in support of its brutal campaign to establish what it calls an Islamic caliphate in the Mideast.
The information about the U.S. military personnel appears to be derived from information found in public records, basic online searches, news reports, and on social media, The New York Times reports. Officials have not indicated the information was hacked from government servers.