US Marines tells troops to ‘check online footprint’ after ISIS ‘hit list’ goes online

Reuters / Omar Sobhani
The US Marine Corps urged personnel to ‘check their online footprint’ after the so-called Islamic State released the alleged identities and addresses of 100 staff officials, calling on adherents to kill them.

"Vigilance and force protection considerations remain a priority for commanders and their personnel," US Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel John Caldwell said in a statement.

"It is recommended Marines and family members check their online/social footprint, ensuring privacy settings are adjusted to limit the amount of available personal information."

According to the monitoring group SITE Intelligence, which has an uncanny ability for finding obscure jihadist postings online, the threat was issued by a group that calls itself the ISIS Hacking Division, which allegedly retrieved information from military personnel and sent it over the Internet.

READ MORE: ISIS hacking division publishes US servicemen ‘death list’

The group said it hacked the private information from government servers.

The message alluded to a “huge amount of data we have from various different servers and databases,” saying the group released the information on 100 Marines, who allegedly fought against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, “so that our brothers residing in America can deal with you.”

"Now we have made it easy for you by giving you addresses, all you need to do is take the final step, so what are you waiting for?"

However, as NYT reported, quoting an unnamed Defense Department official, the information that was exposed most likely came from public databases and not the US military servers. The personal data on the “kill list” could have come from news articles that at one point may have mentioned the servicemen by name.

READ MORE: Feasible vigilance or hysteria? Everyday objects mistaken for ISIS paraphernalia

The United States is leading an international coalition targeting IS strongholds in Iraq and Syria, where the Islamist militants aspire to a caliphate across the region.

IS in the past has called for attacks in coalition countries, including the United States, Canada, and Italy.