Bookmark and Share

Team Poison and its leader, Judain ‘Trick’ Hussain, drew international attention with their hacks. The fact that they were mostly teenagers didn’t limit the ambition of their operations. Team Poison targeted high profile public figures and organizations. This ultimately led to their downfall, though Trick would move on to more nefarious activities. Several key elements of the history of Team Poison and Trick will be discussed below.

Tony Blair Hack:

Team Poison showed no hesitation to go after leaders of the free world. The prime minister of the UK was no exception. Team Poison accessed the email account of a close associate of the prime minister and published his personal information as well as many other sitting members of parliament (2). While the timing and method of access to the data is of some dispute, the attention this event drew to Team Poison was enormous.

Prank Call Hack:

Less than a year later, Team Poison showed perhaps even more boldness in going after the UKs MI6. They automated a system to flood the MI6’s antiterrorism line with prank calls in order to keep the line from being functional for real calls (3). If that weren’t brazen enough, Team Poison raised the stakes even higher when they uploaded a video to YouTube mocking a call between FBI agents and the MI6 discussing their own prank call hack (3). If intensity of the attention was already great, this event turned it into an inferno that may have been too much for the group to endure.

‘Trick’ Team Poison’ Leader:

Judain ‘Trick’ Hussain was leading Team Poison as a mere teenager. Perhaps this lead to their brash approach, which included targeting NATO, the UN, leaders of world governments, and agencies such as the MI6 and FBI (1). The attention the Tony Blair hack generated coupled with the prank call hack on MI6 ultimately lead to Trick being charged in the UK with cybercrime (1). This would prove to be the undoing of Team Poison.

Trick’s Evolution:

Trick fled the UK while awaiting trial for cybercrimes in the UK (1). Even his fellow Team Poison members couldn’t have anticipated what would come next. Judain didn’t opt to hide himself in the embassy of sympathetic country as other modern rebels have done; he went to Syria and joined ISIS (4). Judain evolved from a teenager with a computer taking on the world to becoming what many believe to be the leader of ISIS’s cyberterrorism operations (4). Once he fled, and had a new alliance with a group who’s agenda was far more extreme, Team Poison would be no more. Judain went on to meet his own end when he was targeted by a US drone attack (4).

Summary:

Team Poison was a hacking group who was not intimidated. They targeted the highest ranking available targets, from government officials to the highest world organizations. The teenage angst of their fearless leader Judain ‘Trick’ Hussain was undoubtedly Team Poison’s driving force as they quickly crumbled following his departure. His defection to and ascension in ISIS left many wondering what went wrong. This unfortunate development only further cemented Team Poison’s infamy and ultimately Judain’s fate as well.

To read other articles like this, click here for Careers in Cybersecurity’s Famous Hackers and Their Groups series!

References:

  1. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/12/isis-hacker-junaid-hussain
  2. https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/team-poison-phone-bomb-hacker-anti-terror-367660
  3. https://www.itnews.com.au/news/prank-terror-calls-unravel-prolific-hacker-group-297355
  4. https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/jp5wed/junaid-hussain-isis-hacker-drone