“As warplanes pound ISIS targets and U.S. special forces ramp up operations in Syria, the war against the terrorist group may be unfolding on another far more unconventional front as well.
The hackers’ collective known as Anonymous says it, too, is at war with ISIS. In a series of messages posted on Twitter and YouTube, Anonymous claimed to be “preparing to unleash waves of attacks” on the extremist group, which is also known as the Islamic State, ISIL, or by its Arabic acronym Daesh.
In a video posted on YouTube, a masked activist, speaking in French, announced: “Expect massive cyber attacks. War is declared. Get prepared. Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down.”
Though the latest messages refer to Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, which left 129 people dead and more than 300 wounded, the Anonymous activists want to be clear that they’ve been fighting this fight for some time.
But what does an online declaration of “war” really amount to?” said cbsnews.com
“Cyberattacks can have a tremendous impact,” cyberwarfare expert David Gewirtz said. “Of course, they can’t be used to arrest people or take terrorists off the field, but they can certainly be used to compromise structural components of terrorist operations. More to the point, they can go after both the money that terrorists have and their funding sources. Damaging the money flow can certainly have an impact on the terrorists’ operations.”
“Those operating under the Anonymous banner have focused in the past on disrupting ISIS’s social media recruitment efforts and could try to target the group’s other communications networks. One Anonymous tweet Monday claimed the group has taken down more than 3,800 pro-ISIS Twitter accounts.
Despite talk of war, Anonymous — a loose association of hackers best known for attacking the websites of companies and government agencies whose interests conflict with the free, unfettered spread of information — is not a disciplined army moving as one against an enemy.
“Anonymous isn’t really one group. It’s many people operating under one umbrella name,” Gewirtz said, though he noted that its threats “can certainly be credible in that we can certainly expect that some Anonymous members decided to take some action.”
Poucher went on to say that the groups hacking acumen “might be better than any world government’s tools to combat ISIS online,” adding that although ISIS has its own hacking core, the terrorist group “does not have hackers like we have hackers.”
“They picked a fight with Anonymous when they attacked Paris, and now they should expect us,” he said, adding that the collective “will not sit by and watch these terror attacks unfold around the world.”
Anonymous has targeted ISIS in the past, dismantling 149 Islamic State websites so far this year, according to Foreign Policy. The hacktivist group began operations against the Islamic State following their brutal attack on Charlie Hebdo in January.
Anonymous released a video announcing that the group would “launch the biggest operation ever” against Islamic State.” said said cbsnews.com
The hacking collective vowed to “unite humanity,” warning the terrorist group to “expect massive cyber-attacks.”