Anonymous’s Cyber-War On Islamic State Comes Under Fire

Fractures are emerging in Anonymous’s war on ISIS.

We previously covered the hacking group’s alleged takedown of thousands of ISIS-affiliated social media accounts. But rival factions in Anonymous are now at odds over a list of alleged “ISIS targets” released earlier this weekend, which were deemed not credible by authorities.

‘OpParisIntel,’ an account associated with the Anonymous ‘Operation Paris’ campaign against ISIS, recently posted a list of alleged ISIS targets in the US, France, Italy, Lebanon, and Indonesia. However, after authorities in the U.S said the threats were not credible, Anonymous members began distancing themselves from the list on social media.

YourAnonNews, a long-established Twitter hub for the Anonymous movement, urged members to be cautious and to take unverified rumours of new ISIS attacks “with a grain of salt.”

The list was later deleted by OpParisIntel, “To prevent more “fear” from being spread.” However, the original list can still be found on archiving sites.

“Today we trust you for once, authorities,” said OpParisIntel in their statement.

Anonymous has also come under criticism for catching innocent websites and social media accounts in the crosshairs of their ‘cyber-war’ against ISIS.

A blog post on the hacker blog Jester’s Court claimed that Anonymous’s criteria for targeting social media accounts was based on “zero credible intelligence, HUMINT or validation, but more likely just because they are Arabic language accounts.”

Responding, one of the Twitter accounts coordinating OpParis said:

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OpParis is also facing criticism from breakway factions. The Ghost Security Group (GhostSec), another group of hackers linked to Anonymous, have parted ways from OpParis. GhostSec argues that the tactic of suspending ISIS accounts on social media and removing their websites was counterproductive, and have instructed their members and supporters to infiltrate and spy on the Islamic State’s online networks instead.

GhostSec have been engaged in these tactics since before the Paris attacks, and are credited with “saving lives” by security consultant Michael Smith, of Kronos Advisory.

Anonymous members have their own criticisms of GhostSec, accusing them of “cozying up to governments and exaggerating its accomplishments.” An Anonymous supporter also told the BBC that their efforts to suspend ISIS accounts were valuable.

“It stops them from talking. It stops them from recruiting young kids that have no place to go or people that are sick in the head. A lot of people think that some of the stuff we do, we just blurt names out, but that’s not solely how we operate.”

Follow Allum Bokhari @LibertarianBlue on Twitter, and download Milo Alert! for Android to be kept up to date on his latest articles.


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