The battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria took a digital turn Sunday when the hacker collective announced on YouTube that it was going after operatives of the bloody terror group.
In a video posted in French, a spokesperson for Anonymous wearing the trademark Guy Fawkes mask said: “Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down. You should know that we will find you and well will not let you go.
The spokesperson announced the launch of Anonymous’ #OpParis online campaign against ISIS.
— #OpParis (@opparisofficial) November 17, 2015
Follow the operation’s progress through Twitter at @GroupAnoun
On Tuesday, Anonymous announced on the site: “We report that more than 5500 Twitter accounts of #ISIS are now #down!
The group also claimed to have dismantled some 149 Web sites belonging to ISIS and exposed about 101,000 Twitter accounts and 5,900 propaganda videos.
This is not the first time Anonymous struck a blow against ISIS. Following the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris in January, the hacker group also took down Twitter accounts of ISIS.
Terror groups are also facing threats from another hacker group known as Ghost Security Group. GSG describes itself as a coalition of “international volunteer counterterrorism operatives.” The group is credited with digging out information that enabled authorities to thwart a plot to stage an attack patterned after the July 2015 attack in Tunisia that resulted in the deaths of 38 British tourists.
A recent article on Networkworld.com, however, questioned whether these actions have the potential of crippling ISIS.
While the shadowy nature of such groups allows them to go after terrorists in ways that government agencies cannot, a cybersecurity expert and technology director for the U.S. national security program at Centre for a New American Security said efforts by Anonymous may be more of a “nuisance rather than a threat.”
For one thing, it is not really clear how much of ISIS’s operations rely on the Web and how much attacks against its online presence are hurting the terror group.
These actions could impact ongoing counter-terror operations by governments.
For instance, in a 2014 article the publication Mashable reported that some technology companies admitted they were approached by U.S. intelligence officials and told not to remove ISIS accounts so that they could be easily monitored.
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