Late last week, a popular radio station in Sweden suffered a cyber intrusion resulting in the broadcast of a pro-ISIS song titled “For The Sake of Allah.” The song played for 30 minutes across 24 cities in the country, encouraging listeners to join the terrorist organization.
It is relatively simple to hijack a broadcast frequency – and therefore very difficult to identify a culprit. An attacker simply needs an FM transmitter than can overpower the same frequency the station uses to broadcast. Pro-ISIS individuals have targeted media broadcasts previously, such as an intrusion into the BBC’s live telecast where unknown hackers displayed “Je suIS IS” on TV screens around the world. Such attacks against prominent media organizations project an illusion of power and reach – useful not only for terrorist recruitment, but also for a more fundamental goal of these organizations: creating a sense of fear.