Is the UCC aka Cyber Caliphate Shield Still Around?

Thanks to team 2019-01 for their support and hard work!

The UCC or United Cyber Caliphate is in one analyst’s opinion “a large hacking group made up of many subsidiaries.” They are the Islamic State’s “Cyber Division” and have been operational for several years. UCC has worked throughout the cyberscape with groups like KES or Kalachhniv E Security, the SCA or Sons Caliphate Army, the CCA (Caliphate Cyber Army), and the GCS (Ghost Caliphate Section). In surveilling this group, one analyst noted:

“Through its history, the UCC has been inclusive of groups with different opinions. Within the group are usually both radicals who support the IS and others who don’t. The groups have also changed, and changed names consistently, which makes it difficult to find current fact regarding who still works for the UCC and whether they are working with the IS or not.”

The main missions or goals of the UCC and CCS (Caliphate Cyber Shield) as they are called now, are the following:

- To cause disruption to daily routines.

- To raise the visibility and awareness of ISIS’s cyber components.

- To disseminate information for lone wolf-enabled terrorist attacks globally.

One of the founders, Junaid Hussain, whom was killed on 25 August 2015 in a US strategic drone strike was a black hat hacker himself. One analyst noted “the type of attacks and the level of coordination and sophistication (by the UCC) can largely be attributed to Hussain’s involvement as they mimicked his attacks as a member of teaMp0isoN.” Although many of the membership is deceased, there are still live “cells” of hackers living throughout the world.

Through researching the UCC and CCS, one analyst noted:

“Many of the UCC’s high-profile targets have led to hacks of frequented websites including governmental departments, politicians, and well-known corporations. While service to these websites were re-established, the hack involved a message and at times a link to ISIS media to attribute the hack.”

Fortunately, there have been some significant problems within the organization. Reports that:

“Certain hacking groups that have a Twitter presence including Ghost Squad, Ghost Group Security, and Lulz Group, have lured potential UCC and CCS members in by posing as ISIS affiliates and tracking their IP addresses. The message cautions members to use a VPN when engaging with these groups, but hackers with a great depth of knowledge would know this.”

This has led to “a separation among the ranks and a possible fear of infiltration.” The CI2 is currently monitoring the CCS and will report anything new in future postings!

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