Astonishing web of unpublicized interactions linking extremist social media mouthpieces to the British Government
Every time anyone logs onto the internet via their phone or computer, it uses a type of identification number called an “IP address”
The group made up of four teenage computer experts who call themselves “VandaSec” have unearthed evidence indicating that at least three ISIS-supporting social media accounts are being run from internet addresses linked to the Department of Work and Pensions London offices.
According reports, the “hacking collective” showed “Mirror Online” details of the IP addresses used by a trio of separate digital jihadist to access Twitter accounts, which were then used to carry out online recruitment and propaganda campaigns.
At first glance, the IP addresses seem to be based in Saudi Arabia, but upon further inspection using specialist tools they appeared to link back to the DWP.
“Don’t you think that’s strange?” one of the hackers asked Mirror Online. “We traced these accounts back to London, the home of the British intelligence services.”
VandaSec’s work has sparked wild rumours suggesting someone inside the DWP is running ISIS-supporting accounts, or they were created by intelligence services as a honeypot to trap wannabe jihadist.
However, when Mirror Online traced the IP addresses obtained by VandaSec, they found that they actually pointed to a series of unpublicized transactions between Britain and Saudi Arabia.
Mirror Online is reporting that they “learned that the British government sold on a large number of IP addresses to two Saudi Arabian firms” and “after the sale completed in October of this year, they were used by extremists to spread their message of hate”.
Jamie Turner, an expert from a firm called PCA Predict, discovered a record of the sale of IP addresses, and found a large number were transferred to Saudi Arabia in October of this year.
He told Mirror Online that, it was likely the IP addresses could still be traced back to the DWP because records of the addresses had not yet been fully updated.
The Cabinet Office has now admitted to selling the IP addresses on to Saudi Telecom and the Saudi-based Mobile Telecommunications Company earlier this year as part of a wider drive to get rid of a large number of the DWP’s IP addresses. It is believed that “the British government can have no control over how these addresses are used after the sale”.
A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “The government owns millions of unused IP addresses which we are selling to get a good return for hardworking taxpayers….We have sold a number of these addresses to telecoms companies both in the UK and internationally to allow their customers to connect to the internet……We think carefully about which companies we sell addresses to, but how their customers use this internet connection is beyond our control
The government did not reveal how much money was made from selling the IP addresses to the pair of Saudi firms, because it regards this information as commercially sensitive.