Hackers declare war on ISIS
The underground “hacktivist” group Anonymous has renewed its declaration of war on the Islamic State, vowing to target the terrorist organization wherever it exists on the Web for the deadly attacks in Paris.
And the group is already claiming tens of thousands of strikes in a campaign that’s been underway since January’s Charlie Hebdo attacks.Donning Anonymous’ trademark Guy Fawkes mask — adopted from the illustrated novel and movie “V for Vendetta” — and aping the newscast-style of the movie’s protagonist, a speaker in an online video released yesterday warned the jihadists, “We do not forgive. We do not forget.”
“To defend our values and our freedom, we’re tracking down members of the terrorist group responsible for these attacks, we will not give up, we will not forgive, and we’ll do all that is necessary to end their actions,” the person in the widely circulated video stated. “Expect a total mobilization on our part. This violence should not weaken us. It has to give us the strength to come together and fight tyranny and obscurantism together.”
The new mission, dubbed #OpParis on Twitter, dovetails with #OpISIS, which launched after the January attacks on Charlie Hebdo.
A record-keeping arm of the hacker group — Lucky Troll Club — claims that since January they have already exposed the social media accounts of more than 39,300 suspected ISIS members, 25,000 of which were closed down. Troll Club also lists accounts it claims are still active and belong to active Islamic State members.
Gregg Housh of Malden, who runs Rebel News and worked on past Anonymous’ operations, told the Herald, “The way the operation works is by getting user accounts suspended on social media like Twitter and Facebook. Another method is to get their websites’ hosting suspended. These two things slow down the ability of ISIS to recruit people online. It increases the amount of work they have to put in to get the same results.
“Attacking their online recruiting methods, and getting their websites and social accounts shut down, is a key component to fighting a group like ISIS,” Housh said. “Anything and everything should be done to slow down the recruitment of young people via the Internet. I believe the work of Anonymous and hacktivists in general … on Twitter has been amazing.”
Anonymous operations have a checkered past, sometimes running afoul of the law. One that shut down the Boston Police media page, BPDNews.com in February 2012, and hacked the union Web page listing all of its members’ usernames and passwords, was investigated but did not lead to any charges.