Throughout most of 2014 and all of this year, the Islamic State — specifically the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — has caused tantamount chaos within the Middle East. However, their actions have made them a very unique and powerful enemy: the hacktivist group Anonymous. Since their declaration of war against Islamic terrorism, Anonymous has actively pursued ISIS on the network front. The Inquisitr has reported on their latest actions since then. Apparently, Anonymous believes political correctness, especially in mainstream media news, is the weapon ISIS uses to further their agenda. As a result, Anonymous has taken to the internet, deleting ISIS-supportive social media accounts and knocking down recruitment websites.
Just recently, Anonymous just finished their most ambitious and aggressive attack against ISIS yet. Through their #OpISIS operation, Anonymous has released the Twitter accounts of over 9,000 people who support the terrorist organization.
According to an article by International Business Times and followed-up by RYOT, Anonymous collaborated with fellow hacktivist groups GhostSec and Ctrlsec to release the biggest list of social media accounts related to ISIS. Around 9,200 account names were publicly exposed as part of #OpISIS.
“This is historic amongst the digital world as it’s the first time these groups have come together for something this large.
The outcome of hundreds of hackers across all three major groups is the largest compiled and verified list ever to be released to the public.”
What is amazing is the three hacktivist groups actually formed a coalition for such a cause in the first place. Usually, hacktivist groups are very closed-off and unwilling to work outside of their circles. But in the face of adversity in the form of ISIS, the hacktivist groups were willing to put aside their solitude to form an alliance for what is seen as the greater good.
Apparently, Anonymous has taken the mantle of battling ISIS online not just because of what the terrorist organization has done, but how they crudely utilize social media to spread their propaganda through swarm accounts on Twitter. Anonymous explains this method is done by creating a multitude of accounts and having them cross promote each other. The platform is kind of like the Greek mythological beast, the hydra. Cut one head off, two take its place.
ISIS also uses other sites to help spread their propaganda, including Justpaste for text, Sendvid for videos, and Archive.org for the retrieval of deleted propaganda. However, Anonymous claims Twitter is the “linchpin” for the terrorist organization’s system. Remove the linchpin, ISIS’ system of propaganda will fall apart.
“Twitter in combination with these other sites are allowing them to always keep content alive and easily accessible. Without Twitter being the central hub they wouldn’t be able to move this content around at all.”
Anonymous’ statement must surely be a fact given the details. It is estimated the ISIS social caliphate utilizes an estimated 46,000 active Twitter accounts to help spread their propaganda. What is probably more debilitating is how many suspended and deleted accounts ISIS had over the social caliphate’s lifetime.