Twitter is often used by the Islamic State and its supporters for the exchange of messages. Following the recent attacks in Paris, a group of hackers called Anonymous raged a war on Twitter against this terror group and has claimed to have taken down 5,500 Twitter accounts linked to the Islamic State.
Cyber-war against terror groups
Anonymous, a loosely organized group of hackers, launched the #OpParis campaign on Nov. 16. The group has been targeting the Twitter accounts of the terror group for long, but stepped up those efforts after the Paris incident.
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After a video on Monday, the hacker group said in a tweet the next day, “We report that more than 5500 Twitter account of #ISIS are now #down! #OpParis #Anonymous #ExpectUs.”
It is not clear how the group disabled the accounts. The hacker group informed Twitter users that it posted the suspicious accounts to an online forum and labeled them all as #daeshbags. This is a reference to Daesh, an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group. Following this, a message in which Islamic State affiliates were called on to secure their Internet communications was posted on messaging service Telegram.
“The #Anonymous hackers threatened… that they will carry out a major hack operation on the Islamic state (idiots),” the message read.
Terror groups moving from Twitter
On Monday, a video was posted online in which a man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask referred to the Islamic State militants who claimed the responsibility for the Paris attacks, as “vermin” and said that Anonymous would hunt them down. The man in the video spoke in French and said the people guilty of these attacks cannot go unpunished.
In the video, the man threatened the militants, saying that the group will launch its biggest operation against them and warning them of many upcoming cyber-attacks. He told them thatwar has been declared, and they should be prepared to face the consequences for what they have done. The man gave no details on what the attacks would involve but added that that the group neither forgives nor forgets. Anonymous is an international network of activist computer hackers, and they have claimed responsibility for many cyber-attacks.
There are many accounts on Twitter that do similar work as Anonymous, and this is one of the main reasons terror groups have moved much of their communication to Telegram.