Is There a Connection Between ISIS and UK Government IP addresses?

Information has been both circulating and updating over the last 48 hours concerning a possible link “that a number of Islamic State supporters’ social media accounts are being run from internet addresses linked to IP addresses from the Department of Work and Pensions” This possible connection has been traced and subsequently exposed by well-known hacking group VandaSec.

Reports have also stated that, as is the norm in the digital age, been unearthed by four teenage computer hackers who claim to have traced “IP addresses from their supposed Saudi Arabia location back to the United Kingdom’s Department of Work and Pensions after using a set of specialized tools to track the IP addresses”. These accounts are at first glance noteworthy due to being utilised to recruit new ISIS members online.

It’s a conspiracy! Probably not, after further analyses by an external source, it has so far been concluded that these IP addresses were part of an unpublicized set of transactions between Britain and Saudi Arabia. It has been discovered that the British government sold a large number of IP addresses to two Saudi Arabian firms (Saudi Telecom and the Saudi-based Mobile Telecommunications Company). After the sale had been finalised around October of this year (2015) extremists piggybacked onto these and utilized the protocol to spread the standard message synonymous with the group.

Jamie Turner, an expert from a firm by the name of PCA Predict, confirmed the trace back to the UK government was more obvious than first thought owning to the fact that records for the IPs had not as yet been fully updated.

At the very least it’s certainly embarrassing for Whitehall, yes, as the government has stated it had no control over what happened to the IP addresses after they had sold them, but, perhaps further vetting of potential clients needs to take place in order to mitigate against unlawful use at the extreme end. I wonder where other sold IP addresses will end up in the future?

Image courtesy of wired

Owner of Three Network in Talks to Buy O2

Hutchison Whampoa, the Hong Kong conglomerate that owns UK mobile operator Three, is in talks to buy rival network O2, owned by Telefonica. According to the Sunday Times newspaper, Hutchison will pay up to £9 billion for O2.

Telefonica is said to be keen to leave the UK to help pay off debts, hiring investment bank UBS AG to explore exit strategies, and going so far as to consider floating O2’s shares for public sale. Hutchison are being helped by Moelis & Co to pursue possible deals within the UK.

All parties involved, including Moelis & Co and UBS AG, have declined to comment on the potential sale.

Source: Bloomberg

BT in Exclusive Talks to Buy EE

BT have entered into exclusive talks to buy EE for £12.5 billion. The period of exclusivity will lasts “several weeks”, according to BT, to ensure enough time to negotiate a satisfactory deal.

Back in November, BT was linked with the purchase of either EE or Telefonica-owned O2. EE is the largest mobile network in the UK, with a 33.8% market share, according to Citigroup. As part of the proposed deal, EE’s owners, Deutsche Telecom and Orange, would take a 12% and 4% stake in BT, respectively. With its 12% stake, Deutsche Telecom would be entitled to appoint a member to BT’s board. BT issued a statement regarding the potential purchase, saying, “The proposed acquisition would enable BT to accelerate its existing mobility strategy.”

Source: BBC