Anonymous declared War against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) that claimed responsibility for the horrific terrorist attacks that rocked Paris last week.
In response to the Anonymous' warning of launching their "biggest operation ever" against the terrorist group, ISIS militants called Anonymous – "IDIOTS".
It seems like Anonymous has taken ISIS response very seriously and the group has started carrying out their attacks against the terror organisation.
Anonymous First 'Cyber Attack' on ISIS
Soon after its war declaration, Anonymous claimed to have taken down more than 5,500 pro-ISIS Twitter accounts in #OpParis (Operation Paris).
In the past, hackers and organizations associated with Anonymous brought down websites allegedly connected with ISIS and claimed to have taken down thousands of ISIS accounts, disrupting their social media recruitment efforts.
Anonymous' most famous targets include the white supremacist group Ku Klux Klan (KKK), the Vatican, the Westboro Baptist Church (known for its hate speech against the Jews, LGBT community, and liberal politicians), the governments, and even the CIA.
So, calling Anonymous idiots doesn't make them idiots, because the hacktivist group has proved itself to be fully capable of launching successful attacks – and ISIS knows it.
That's why the terror organisation is spreading lame instructions through its affiliated official channels on Telegram on how to prevent getting hacked by Anonymous.
ISIS Online Propaganda: How They Manipulate Social Media
ISIS is a terrorist organisation whose most interesting aspect is how it leverages the huge power of Twitter and Facebook to radicalize young people, spread its message around the globe, recruit foreign supporters to its fight and shock people into taking notice of its actions.
Many ISIS militants maintain extremely active accounts on the popular social media platforms. They also have a strong presence on the most popular encrypted messaging app Telegram with more than 100,000 followers.
According to The Atlantic, there were more than 46,000 ISIS-affiliated Twitter accounts with an average of 1,000 followers each.
The group has also established a 24-hour Jihadi Help Desk to help its foot soldiers spread their message around the world, recruit followers and launch more terror attacks on foreign soil, NBC reports.
So How Anonymous can Defeat ISIS?
When taking into consideration ISIS's extensive presence on Twitter, taking down its social media presence is the actual key to defeating the terror group, and it does make an impact at worst.
So, taking down the group's 5,500 Twitter accounts could be the first step towards disrupting ISIS online propaganda.
No doubt, we doesn't have any silver bullet solution to this problem, neither cyber attacks can vanish ISIS from its roots, but at least hackers can disrupt their online propaganda that may disable them to plan or plot Paris-like terrorist attacks.
Besides social media takeovers, the hacker collective is using "Distributed Denial of Service" (DDoS) attacks to shut down websites affiliated with ISIS, including its fundraising sites from where ISIS get fed.
Anonymous has previously used successful DDOS attacks to shut down services of companies or organizations the group deems fit for the attack, including the municipal computer system of Ferguson, Missouri in the wake of Michael Brown death.
Anonymous Releases Newbie "How-to" Hacking Guide
Now, this will really panic ISIS:
Anonymous group has also released a newbie How-to Hacking Guide for all wannabe hackers, in an effort to recruit more people in their Fight against Islamic State.
The Instruction set includes:
- NoobGuide — Methods to hack websites associated with Islamic State
- Reporter — How to set up a Twitter bot for uncovering IS accounts.
- Searcher — How to identify and take down ISIS related websites and social media accounts
"Instead of sitting idle in the channel or lurking around and doing nothing, you can benefit greatly from the different tools and guides that have been provided to you. Your contribution means a lot and we encourage you to partake in all of the Op's activities if you can, the more the merrier," an anonymous member wrote.