Hacktivist groups join the fight against ISIS

Several Hacktivist groups, including Anonymous, GhostSec, and Ctrlsec, have formed an alliance of sorts, to combat ISIS. Together, the groups have compiled a list of 9200 Twitter accounts that they claim support ISIS. Earlier this year, the hacktivist group known as Anonymous released a video in which they mark ISIS as their next target. In the video, they say that

“You will be treated like a virus, and we are the cure. We own the internet,” and “ISIS, we will hunt you, take down your sites, accounts, emails, and expose you. From now on, no safe place for you online.”

Anonymous and ISIS

hacker anonAccording to Anonymous, Twitter is essentially the central hub for ISIS operations. While they use other sites to spread information, Twitter provides them with resource they need to link their content together effectively. Without Twitter accounts, they wouldn’t be able to keep their content alive and easily accessible. Twitter has suspended several ISIS related accounts but has ultimately proved unsuccessful in stamping out ISIS accounts on Twitter. ISIS uses what are known as “swarm accounts” to stay active through the suspensions. They use these accounts to cross promote each other, which creates a hydra-like environment.

Anonymous claims to have already taken down over 1000 websites, social media accounts, emails, and network connections that were supporting ISIS. Anonymous is adding to that list with 9200 Twitter accounts.

The list of Twitter accounts related to ISIS has been publicly released here, and in a post on Medium, they state that

We’re releasing it to hold Twitter accountable.I encourage you all to do your duty not only as a citizen of the world but also as a member of the internet community and re-post this on social media. The more attention it gets, the more likely it becomes Twitter takes action in removing these accounts and making a serious impact on the ability of ISIS to spread propaganda and recruit new members.

These hacktivist groups don’t normally have any association with each other, but in the interest of a common enemy, they have come together. A member of Anonymous told the International Business Times in an interview,

“This is historic amongst the digital world as it’s the first time these groups have come together for something this large. Usually, they are very closed off and not willing to work outside of their circles but this has become so large of a problem they’re willing to form an alliance for what is seen as a greater good.”

A UNC Chapel Hill graduate, blockchain enthusiast and analyst. I have a background in programming and IT, strong studies in econ, stats and game theory. I'm interested in online privacy and privacy laws.