The group of international hackers known as Anonymous have declared war on ISIS saying: “You’re a virus, we’re the cure.”
“More than 20,000 Twitter accounts belonging to ISIS were taken down by Anonymous,” a spokesman said in a statement for the group.
‘ISIS, we will hunt you and take down your sites, accounts, emails, and expose you.’
“From now on, there is no safe place for you online,” the spokesman added.
Anonymous is a virtual community that has been known for the past 12 years. It has been linked to hacks on governments and institutions, from the government of Zimbabwe to the Bay Area Rapid Transit, Visa, Master Card, and the Federal Reserve. With their track record, they have proven that they could be capable of following through with the claims.
The crackdown on Twitter accounts is mainly due to the general experience that the ISIS organization has used social media as an effective way to recruit new fighters, especially from the West, says an RT report.
ISIS spreads its radical Islamist message using email, Web chat, Skype calls, and YouTube videos, and has lately been noted promoting a mobile messaging app called Telegram.
“When they go recruit, they’re hugely dependent on their online presence. If Anonymous takes all that out, it’s like capping the revenue of a company,” says Jonathan Sander, vice president of product strategy at the cybersecurity company Lieberman Software.
Listen to the Anonymous official spokesperson:
According to International Business Times, Anonymous has begun with “Operation Paris” using the hashtag #OpParis, and they have also made claims on social media that they are embarking on a large-scale cyber assault against ISIS.
Even though Anonymous has successfully shut down thousands of Twitter accounts allegedly related to ISIS, experts still wonder what Anonymous can really do. Will it be able to effectively disturb the militant group’s recruiting mechanism?
With this latest case of cyberwarfare, we are reminded of the day and age we live in, where the Internet is more than just a medium for entertainment, education, and trading. Ironically, on one side we have a radical organization that wants to put society back into the dark ages, while we have another organization using highly advanced methods of digital warfare to fight it.
Does this mean people should teach their kids how to program? Maybe not, but it surely draws a vague premonition of how conflicts, or even wars, might be dealt with in the coming future.