Social media accounts associated with the terrorist organisation Islamic State, also known as Daesh, have been traced back to internet addresses linked to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
Hackers calling themselves VandaSec claim to have traced at least three ISIS-supported social media accounts back to DWP offices.
The IP addresses initially appeared to be based in Saudi Arabia. However, using specialist tools the hackers were able to link them back to DWP offices in London.
Four computer experts from the group VandaSec handed IP addresses associated with three jihadis on twitter to the Mirror Online.
The revelation led to rumours that someone in the DWP is running jihadi twitter accounts, or using the accounts to trap Daesh terrorists.
“Don’t you think that’s strange?”, one of the hackers asked the Mirror. “We traced these accounts back to London, the home of the British intelligence services.”
However, an investigation by the Mirror found that the IP addresses pointed to transactions between the British Government and Saudi Arabia.
They discovered that the Government sold a large number of unused IP addresses in October of this year to two private firms in Saudi Arabia – Saudi Telecom and the Saudi-based Mobile Telecommunications.
Those IP addresses were later acquired and used by Daesh jihadist’s to spread their message of hate on twitter.
A Cabinet Office spokesperson told Mirror Online: “The government owns millions of unused IP addresses which we are selling to get a good return for hardworking taxpayers.
“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.”
Find out more: Mirror Online