War: an ever-changing, ever evolving entity; a constant exercise in the innovation of barbarism. Recently, a new, frightening weapon seems to have emerged in the form of cyber warfare. Last week, “The Islamic State Hacking Division,” which claims an unconfirmed affiliation with ISIS, released the names and personal information of 100 members of the armed services. Along with the personal data, the released information contained ominous threats, encouraging ISIS supporters in the United States to “deal with” these families.

 

(theblaze.com)

(theblaze.com)

The Department of Defense (DoD) has issued a swift response to attempt to restore public confidence. All branches of the armed services have dealt with the threats in some capacity. In particular, the army released a series of “precautions” for military families to take, both online and at home, to ensure their safety. A Defense Department official also issued a statement, assuring the public that they are “looking into (the threats)” to verify their validity.

 

The group responsible for the attack states that they obtained the names through a skillful hack of DoD computer systems. However, the Pentagon has remained steadfast in its assurance that the information likely came from more readily available channels, such as social media and Google. These steps have been invaluable to ensuring public confidence, and managing the governments reputation for handling crises.

 

On the home front, the response from those affected seems more proactive than panickedSeveral families have reportedly begun to limit their online presence by deleting location tags and removing potentially identifying pictures of their children from several social media platforms.

 

Although an overwhelming social media presence can lead to vulnerability, it can also act as a stress outlet for these families. With that in mind, it seems these targeted families will not disconnect from their online identities altogether. CNN even quoted military spouse Amy Bushatz as saying, “Is there more cautiousness now? Sure, but that’s not a bad thing.” It would ultimately appear that while these families take the threats seriously, they will not allow themselves to succumb to the whims of terrorists.

 

What are your thoughts on how the government has handled the situation? How much self-disclosure online is too much? Comment below or tweet @connerws