Under the campaign hashtag #EscortsOffline, a Moroccan religious hacker using the title ElSurveillance has attacked dozens of websites offering escort services and is threatening to release the revealed user data online.
Reportedly ElSurveillance is running the anti-escort campaign, #EscortsOffline, and is hacking and defacing escort websites in the U.K. and overseas. According to the hacker, he has some 100,000 user records that he is threatening to release online.
The hacking campaign started in mid-2015, but the hacker has recently ramped up his #EscortsOffline activity during June by hacking and defacing 37 websites in total, all within a short period.
— Leonie Tanczer (@leotanczt) June 27, 2016
ElSurveillance claims to be from Morocco and stated on social media that he has uploaded two separate lists to the text-hosting platform PasteBin from the websites he has targeted. He contacted Softpedia and provided details of the lists. The first list contains details of 15 websites and the second 22 or more escort websites to which Softpedia gives access with an NSFW warning.
According to ElSurveillance, after publishing those lists, he asserts that the data relating to 100,000 users has also been compromised during his attacks and that this data will soon be released online.
In each #EscortsOffline attack, the hacker replaces the home page of the targeted escort website with a religious message from the Qur’an.
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Back in December 2015, DataBreaches.net published an interview with ElSurveillance where the hacker stressed his focus on spreading his beliefs in his work. However, it is unknown whether this is a legitimate stance on his part, or merely a persona adopted by the Moroccan hacker.
However, in at least one case, the hacker showed support for the people of Palestine:
— Catalin C. (@campuscodi) June 26, 2016
In the interview, ElSurveillance said: “I have been running an operation under the hashtag #EscortsOffline against the escorts website and agencies because I strongly believe that our bodies are gifted from Allah (God) to us to look after and not to destroy.”
“I always hated the idea of people selling their bodies for money which it gives a chance for the escort agencies to take advantage of these people who are in need.”
Some people just don’t learn the lesson, bk https://t.co/NrZnc9pWSo, Rooted today in less than 30Sec #EscortsOffline pic.twitter.com/gTXam27R9I
— ◖المـــراقــــــبة◗™ (@ElSurveillance) April 27, 2016
At that stage, the hacker had defaced around 80 escort websites, releasing 30,000 user names, email addresses, and passwords. However, it was discovered by the hacker that many of these were fake records, created for the illicit online services.
According to a report by the International Business Times, the hacker continued: “For what I have seen in my attacks and the databases that I took [users] create fake accounts, profiles and display fake photos […] I decided to use my skills in something that I believe is good and hopefully one day the other hackers will carry the same attacks to spreading the words (sic).”
— ◖المـــراقــــــبة◗™ (@ElSurveillance) January 24, 2016
ElSurveillance doesn’t have much of a following in the hacktivist community. Reportedly the hacker has less than 130 followers on Twitter and of interest to note, at least six of those followers are escort agencies themselves.