The hacking collective has taken its first action since declaring war on ISIS in the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris.
Anonymous started to work against ISIS following previous attacks on the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January. After the latest attacks on the French capital last Friday, the hacker collective posted a video online in which it promised its biggest operation ever in order to weaken ISIS, writes Andrew Griffin for The Independent.
Hacker collective rooting out suspected extremists online
“Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down,” said the voice in the video. “You should know that we will find you and we will not let you go.”
Now the group has started to publish personal information about suspected extremists online. So far Anonymous has compiled lists of Twitter accounts and websites associated with extremists and is attempting to have them taken down.
The group has also posted at least one physical address of an individual that it claims recruits extremists for the group in Europe. According to Anonymous members they have already had several accounts and websites taken down.
Anonymous previously misidentified extremists
After a group of terrorists left 129 people dead in coordinated attacks in Paris, Anonymous has mobilized and moved beyond its usual targets of social media accounts. So far none of the details have been confirmed by independent analysts, and Anonymous members have wrongly accused people of being extremists in the past.
In addition to flagging social media accounts in an attempt to get them taken down, Anonymous has been targeting extremist websites with distributed denial of service attacks, overloading the servers until they crash and go offline. Twitter has been taking down some accounts flagged by members of the group.
Although there would appear to be no downside to shutting down extremist websites and social media accounts, the publishing of physical addresses raises the possibility of violent, vigilante attacks. While many in Europe have spoken out against a possible backlash against Muslim communities, Anonymous could be accused of encouraging extra judicial attacks.
Given the group’s record of misidentifying suspected extremists it would perhaps be prudent to pass physical addresses on to the proper authorities rather than making them public.