At least three Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) supporters’ social media accounts are run from IP addresses linked to the British government’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), a group of hackers has claimed.
The group of teenage computer experts, known as ‘VandaSec,’ have unearthed details of internet protocol (IP) addresses used by three jihadists to access Twitter accounts used to carry out online recruitment.
The addresses were thought to be based in Saudi Arabia, but upon further inspection they linked back to the DWP’s London offices, according to the Daily Mirror.
“Don’t you think that’s strange?” one of the hackers asked the Daily Mirror.
“We traced these accounts back to London, the home of the British intelligence services,” they added.
This revelation has sparked speculation that someone inside the government is running IS-supporting accounts, or they were created by intelligence services to trap wannabe terrorists.
The evidence caused the Cabinet Office to admit to selling IP addresses to two Saudi firms earlier this year. An expert has suggested this is why the IP’s are linked to the government.
Following the sale, the IP addresses were used by extremists to spread their message of hate on social media.
The DWP denied owning the IP addresses.
“The government owns millions of unused IP addresses which we are selling to get a good return for hardworking taxpayers,” a Cabinet Office spokesperson said.
“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.”
However, the government failed to reveal how much money was made from selling the IP addresses.