OpISIS: Anonymous Takes Terrorist Group's Social Media Accounts Offline

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OpISIS: Anonymous Takes Terrorist Group's Social Media Accounts Offline

"#OpISIS" sees dozens of ISIS-linked Facebook, Twitter accounts hacked or taken offline.

Anonymous today announced that its latest "hacktivist" target is ISIS, the terrorist/political group that has taken territory in Iraq, Syria, and Libya.

The Anonymous assault has been branded #OpISIS, and the primary goal appears to be the disruption of ISIS social media channels and recruitment operations.

"Operation ISIS continues, says the voiceover on the above video. "We are Muslims, Christians, Jews. We are hackers, crackers, hacktivists, phishers, agents, spies, or just the guy from next door...We are young or old, gay or straight...We come from all races, countries, religions and ethnicity. United as one, divided by zero."

So far, Anonymous claims that it has taken roughly 90 ISIS-associated Twitter accounts offline, along with a dozen associated Facebook pages.

The hacktivist campaign starts shortly after ISIS showed video of a Royal Jordanian Air Force pilot being burned alive on video -- the same pilot that Jordan was trying to secure freedom for via a prisoner exchange. After the video went wide, Jordan started a new, aggressive air strike campaign against ISIS targets.

Anonymous launched a similar campaign against websites linked to the Charlie Hebdo attacks last month.

Source: Anon HQ | ZDNet

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I'm never quite sure what to think about Anonymous. Sometimes they do stuff I abhor, sometimes they do stuff I adore. I'm definitely behind them on this one, though.

Rampant douche nozzles are capable of good things too I guess.

Generally Anonymous give vague, petty or pointless reasons for their attacks but this, well you don't really need to justify it all that much, most of the world will be behind them for now at least.

Keep up the good work and delay going back to form.

Haha, I still can't get over how cool these guys think they are, but still, this is something governments should have considered doing a while ago. Freedom of speech becomes a moot point when you're killing someone to do it.

Well thats that then. They pissed off the internet. Have to keep in mind that Anon have done some really good things in the past. They helped the FBI catch pedophiles, helped Egyptians get online access when its country when batshit crazy.

They may do some douche things, but to me at least, the good outweighs the bad.

"Anonymous takes the fight to ISIS in retaliation for Pilot's horrible murder"
"The American Department of Defense showed off their ability to hack your car"

I am LOVING the irony in headlines today!

Just how stupid can Anonymous get?

Yea this "sounds" noble, but if the US wanted those accounts taken down they'd be done. Heck, Facebook and Twitter probably wanted to take them down right when they found them, but asked their government contact, and were told to keep them active.

You let these nut jobs have their social media platform because their connections are easily tapped. They're for intelligence gathering you anonymous hacks. All shutting down one method does is make them change so we have to setup the entire infrastructure to gather that same intel again.

Really, the best thing you can do for the terrorists is shut down their easily hacked forums so that the intelligence community has to find them again.

Wow. Given who they normally target and their side of the political spectrum, I figured they'd either be on the Islamic State's side or at least neutral while attacking Isreal or something.

LysanderNemoinis:
Wow. Given who they normally target and their side of the political spectrum, I figured they'd either be on the Islamic State's side or at least neutral while attacking Isreal or something.

No chance of the former. ISIS doesn't make antisemitic jokes on internet forums, they're Caesar's Legion brought to life. There's nothing to like, even if you're someone who tends to identify with a group because others see it as being utterly reprehensible. Because to ISIS, you still have no right to live.

medv4380 is correct.

This isn't a good thing. Don't you think that proper authorities are aware of these accounts? They are being monitored and for a good reason. Terrorists use the internet to communicate with each other, with other terrorist cells in other countries. Anything they do online might lead anti-terrorist organizations to discover more about their activities, their future plans or whereabouts of hidden cells, potential recruits etc.

Must be sweeps week. People were starting to forget those guys even exist.

"United as one, divided by zero."

This has got to be the best phrase ever used by any group to describe itself.

medv4380:
Just how stupid can Anonymous get?

Yea this "sounds" noble, but if the US wanted those accounts taken down they'd be done. Heck, Facebook and Twitter probably wanted to take them down right when they found them, but asked their government contact, and were told to keep them active.

You let these nut jobs have their social media platform because their connections are easily tapped. They're for intelligence gathering you anonymous hacks. All shutting down one method does is make them change so we have to setup the entire infrastructure to gather that same intel again.

Really, the best thing you can do for the terrorists is shut down their easily hacked forums so that the intelligence community has to find them again.

You make a good point. Terrorists are basically attention whores, so they should make it super easy for government agencies to track. Like what Phil Coulson, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. said, "This is why I love social media. The people are pretty much surveiling themselves." I was surprised Facebook/Twitter/etc. didn't clamp down on these accounts themselves sooner.
And to touch on Marvel again, I hope Anonymous compares ISIS to HYDRA in a future update on this "op".

I'll just leave this here.... it just seems so relevant.

medv4380:
Just how stupid can Anonymous get?

Yea this "sounds" noble, but if the US wanted those accounts taken down they'd be done. Heck, Facebook and Twitter probably wanted to take them down right when they found them, but asked their government contact, and were told to keep them active.

You let these nut jobs have their social media platform because their connections are easily tapped. They're for intelligence gathering you anonymous hacks. All shutting down one method does is make them change so we have to setup the entire infrastructure to gather that same intel again.

Really, the best thing you can do for the terrorists is shut down their easily hacked forums so that the intelligence community has to find them again.

I would like to point out that you actually seem to think that intelligence agencies across the world are exclusively collecting thier information from the ISIS propaganda engine.

What makes you think ISIS would actually publish any information that would aid the war effort against them?

What they need to do is post that cartoon of Mohammed on all there twitter/facebook sites.

gigastar:

medv4380:
Just how stupid can Anonymous get?

Yea this "sounds" noble, but if the US wanted those accounts taken down they'd be done. Heck, Facebook and Twitter probably wanted to take them down right when they found them, but asked their government contact, and were told to keep them active.

You let these nut jobs have their social media platform because their connections are easily tapped. They're for intelligence gathering you anonymous hacks. All shutting down one method does is make them change so we have to setup the entire infrastructure to gather that same intel again.

Really, the best thing you can do for the terrorists is shut down their easily hacked forums so that the intelligence community has to find them again.

I would like to point out that you actually seem to think that intelligence agencies across the world are exclusively collecting thier information from the ISIS propaganda engine.

What makes you think ISIS would actually publish any information that would aid the war effort against them?

I don't know much about cybersecurity, but wouldn't they be tracking down how these accounts are being accessed?

visiblenoise:

gigastar:

medv4380:
Just how stupid can Anonymous get?

Yea this "sounds" noble, but if the US wanted those accounts taken down they'd be done. Heck, Facebook and Twitter probably wanted to take them down right when they found them, but asked their government contact, and were told to keep them active.

You let these nut jobs have their social media platform because their connections are easily tapped. They're for intelligence gathering you anonymous hacks. All shutting down one method does is make them change so we have to setup the entire infrastructure to gather that same intel again.

Really, the best thing you can do for the terrorists is shut down their easily hacked forums so that the intelligence community has to find them again.

I would like to point out that you actually seem to think that intelligence agencies across the world are exclusively collecting thier information from the ISIS propaganda engine.

What makes you think ISIS would actually publish any information that would aid the war effort against them?

I don't know much about cybersecurity, but wouldn't they be tracking down how these accounts are being accessed?

Well, theese accounts were created by ISIS members so i assume theyre being accessed normally.

Or did you mean something else?

I have mixed opinions about Anonymous myself, as well as about it's turn towards "Hacktivism" and direct support of left wing legal positions. Originally Anonymous was all about "elemental chaos" and promoting freedom on The Internet. When it got involved "politically" it was to do things like threaten Australia over attempted porn bans or some company taking itself way too seriously to the point in cutting into what people could do on it's territory. All this while singling out the real weirdoes. Anonymous was also big on pointing it out it had no real cause and was the personal army of no one, and no cause. Today it's become what amounts to a liberal terrorist organization whose targets have become increasingly predictable. Some of it's targets also seem to be directly against one of the few reasons it had to exist, namely when it assists in going after people for "hate speech" or being too "offensive" Anonymous was after all "The Internet Hate Machine" and specifically against even the most offensive people being censored, whether that was politically OR simply the promotion of fringe porn. For example Anonymous might make fun of things like "Guro" (if you don't know what that is, it's basically what you'd imagine a seriel killer would spank his monkey to) but at the same time seemed to act to prevent it's limitation or expansion, indeed enjoying it when such things leaked into the public eye to shock and offend people. That's why Anonymous was "elemental chaos" in that it would be seemingly promoting and persecuting at the same time, "basically your a sick, twisted, freak and the worst kind of human being who I am going to mock relentlessly... while promoting you heavily because I love your work and most importantly the reaction you get out of people".

Anonymous today seems like an old school liberal terrorist organization, but armed with computers rather than bombs. It's become predictable, something you could not say about the Anonymous of the past. This is not to say that I don't find myself agreeing with them quite a bit despite some of my rather dark socio-political beliefs.

-

When it comes to issues with hackers in general, it's largely because the US has become too weak and dare I say too moral which is why we are losing ground on nearly every front. It's funny to point to something as corrupt as the US government and call it moral, but the bottom line is that for all the criticism we get we actually don't flex our muscles for our own benefit very often, rather we play political games with sanctions and threats, and they really don't do anything at the end of the day or make the problems they are meant to deal with cease. Every time we draw a line, we let our rivals step over it which is a big part of the reason why Russia, China, ISIS, North Korea, etc... are acting the way they are. They know we won't actually send the military, and if we do, we won't use it effectively for moral reasons (to avoid actually attacking civilians and the culture of an enemy) meaning we're doomed to spend a ton of resources and fail to achieve anything. Hackers are the domestic side of this equasion, the US is largely unwilling to take action, largely because we follow international law to a ridiculous degree in matters like this, and of course that makes it so it's impossible to defend ourselves or enforce policy. Some hacker or cyber-crook operating outside of the US is usually being shielded by another country where what they are doing might not even be illegal. This means the US does nothing. In cases where the case is huge, and/or they are operating from a friendly nation, we still drop the ball. Despite it's agreements New Zealand wound up sheltering Kim Dot Com from US prosecution. The end result is death by a thousand cuts (so to speak) since we just stand there and let a lot of this happen. Ideally we'd go after shadowy customers like international hackers by being just as shadowy and immoral, have the CIA abduct some of these people to stand trial in the US, and most importantly make it clear we don't care what laws we violate or whose citizens they are when we're being threatened. Then for all the QQing you'll see more cooperation, and of course a lot of these hackers and cyber criminals will no longer be acting in complete safety and be under risk.... It's sort of like all the scams coming out of Nigeria, to the tune of tons of money lost, Nigeria's laws don't do anything to stop this and we can't extradite the people even when we know who is involved (this is not just computer related). When we let a country like that thumb it's nose at us after ripping us off (again and again and again) it just encourages this kind of thing. Some CIA-run apprehensions, along with a bunch of Marines holding it's government at gunpoint while they draft their new laws on these matters would probably deal with the problem and scare other nations into compliance.... if this sounds kind of angry, yeah it is.

Welp, looks like they weren't as dead as we all thought. That or new blood seeped back into the gang.

I'm of mixed feelings on this:

1) Oh hey, good for them. I want to see them keep pissing off ISIS and making them look like morons. If anyone can do it, it's a group of online trolls and hackers who don't really care about how they look, and who will likely reply to any threats by isis with "Ro Ro fight da powa" or something else. I mean, Isis can't go "SEE the US government is shutting down our free speech! Fight them!". This is Anonymous we're talking about here, a group that's a loose coalition of trolls, not some elite hacker unit of the "free world".

2) Hmm...I dunno if this is the best idea. Spy agencies might have been trying to infiltrate or gather information from those accounts that got shut down.

3) I love how Anon acts like they're the heroes of some sci-fi video game, with all the super flashy effects in their videos and stuff. XD I think some people in the movement have some kind of God Complex.

Anon:
United as one, divided by zero

Har har har. :P That's incredibly cheesy, but kinda cool actually.

Phil the Nervous:
"Anonymous takes the fight to ISIS in retaliation for Pilot's horrible murder"
"The American Department of Defense showed off their ability to hack your car"

I am LOVING the irony in headlines today!

Me too! XD

visiblenoise:

gigastar:

medv4380:
Just how stupid can Anonymous get?

Yea this "sounds" noble, but if the US wanted those accounts taken down they'd be done. Heck, Facebook and Twitter probably wanted to take them down right when they found them, but asked their government contact, and were told to keep them active.

You let these nut jobs have their social media platform because their connections are easily tapped. They're for intelligence gathering you anonymous hacks. All shutting down one method does is make them change so we have to setup the entire infrastructure to gather that same intel again.

Really, the best thing you can do for the terrorists is shut down their easily hacked forums so that the intelligence community has to find them again.

I would like to point out that you actually seem to think that intelligence agencies across the world are exclusively collecting thier information from the ISIS propaganda engine.

What makes you think ISIS would actually publish any information that would aid the war effort against them?

I don't know much about cybersecurity, but wouldn't they be tracking down how these accounts are being accessed?

Well, the thing is it doesn't mean the government will do anything about it. A lot of the nations these accounts are being set up within or through do not cooperate with the US legally. This is why nations like Nigeria get to run so many scams without repercussions, the citizens there are protected by Nigerian law so it doesn't matter what they do elsewhere. It's also why various big time pirate and pirate-torrent sites operated out of other countries. For example I believe Kickass Torrents was running out of Somolia, so it was a big surprising when they went down recently after their upsurge in activity with the brief demise of "The Pirates Bay". Somolia doesn't give a crap about any kind of global laws.

Even when it comes to countries with agreements with the US, we're not forceful enough to make them abide by their agreements. For example Kim Dot Com got to thumb his nose at the US from New Zealand since he was so rich he could pay his own government to shield him and keep the US tied up in the extradition proceedings.

It's also why despite chasing down it's founders (eventually) The Pirate's Bay stayed up so long, it tended to move around and also operate it's main sites and mirrors from places where the international and/or first world laws cannot reach them.

Basically as long as the US refuses to take action, and we don't most of the time for moral reasons, not much can be done. As things stand now we can only pursue the most grievous of cases, and even then the way we do it costs us so much time and money due to being nice that it's hardly cost effective. Getting Kim Dot Com for example cost us a crazy amount of money, if there weren't so many corporations involved in that one it probably never would have happened, and that was in a country where it should have been an open and shut case.

As I've said before as "crazy" as it sounds I've long felt we should use the CIA to target foreign hackers and the military to force compliance of nations that allow cybercrime. Expensive, but as time is going, it's becoming obvious we can't sustain things the way things have been working, we're facing a sort of "death by a thousand cuts" situation. As I've been saying for years, some of these hackers should be getting a sack over the head, a needle in the arm, and a quick trip to the US justice system regardless of where they are.

I've also been of the opinion that more effort should be made to isolate certain nations electronically. Something that many liberals (and groups like Anonymous) oppose. The usual argument against this is that finding ways to shut off their internet access entirely would punish all the citizens of these countries for the actions of a few. I tend to think that's a good thing however as the problems usually come down to the government, and if you can get them to turn on the government themselves to for it to change that can save you the trouble of holding their ruling body at gunpoint.

gigastar:
What makes you think ISIS would actually publish any information that would aid the war effort against them?

Appears someone failed Internet architecture 101. So lets educate.

First their propaganda machine reviles an IP address that's connecting to the network. This enables them to isolate accounts that don't readily appear to be terrorist that are being connected to by the same, or same group, of machines. Then you have idiots who try to make contact with the account of the sub accounts. This is how they've been catching people. Now they could do a half dozen things to make this more difficult, but they've about as competent as Silk Road 2.0 Then again why even bother trying to explain the idiosyncrasies of Tor, and how it has been compromised in the past by authorities when you clearly failed Internet 101.

They then create catfish accounts, and "friend" terrorist accounts to make themselves appear legit. Which results in terrorists attempting to contact them unsolicited, and also befriending them. How do you think they've caught these people trying to join ISIS?

Funny thing is local police use this trick on the local schools. Create a fake student on facebook, but they just have to list that they're a student and all the other students friend the fake without any solicitation. That's how they've been busting a lot of the drugs, and child porn in the schools for the last decade.

Then there is all the terrorist forums, and email accounts that anon threatened, but then you probably didn't bother to read the article or listen to the full details of their threat.

Um. Yay? I don't really see how this is supposed to accomplish anything. They didn't exactly hack into a mainframe and steal valuable data, they took down social network accounts. It's just flipping terrorists the bird really.

medv4380:

gigastar:
What makes you think ISIS would actually publish any information that would aid the war effort against them?

Appears someone failed Internet architecture 101. So lets educate.

First their propaganda machine reviles an IP address that's connecting to the network. This enables them to isolate accounts that don't readily appear to be terrorist that are being connected to by the same, or same group, of machines. Then you have idiots who try to make contact with the account of the sub accounts. This is how they've been catching people. Now they could do a half dozen things to make this more difficult, but they've about as competent as Silk Road 2.0 Then again why even bother trying to explain the idiosyncrasies of Tor, and how it has been compromised in the past by authorities when you clearly failed Internet 101.

They then create catfish accounts, and "friend" terrorist accounts to make themselves appear legit. Which results in terrorists attempting to contact them unsolicited, and also befriending them. How do you think they've caught these people trying to join ISIS?

Funny thing is local police use this trick on the local schools. Create a fake student on facebook, but they just have to list that they're a student and all the other students friend the fake without any solicitation. That's how they've been busting a lot of the drugs, and child porn in the schools for the last decade.

Then there is all the terrorist forums, and email accounts that anon threatened, but then you probably didn't bother to read the article or listen to the full details of their threat.

Therefore, according to you, the ISIS accounts/sites being shut down means the spooks have lost track of all would-be terrorists?

Does this take into account other ways of joining a terror network? Joining other terror networks? Simple proceedures that i assume any self respecting spy agency would take to preserve data?

Worst case senario here is that the spooks have to set up watch on the new accounts and sites when Anon leans off, and that anyone serious about fighting for thier extremist ideology ends up going to the likes of Boko Haran or Al-Qaeda instead.

erttheking:
Um. Yay? I don't really see how this is supposed to accomplish anything. They didn't exactly hack into a mainframe and steal valuable data, they took down social network accounts. It's just flipping terrorists the bird really.

Yea, as noble as it is, and as much as I agree with it on principle, I'm not sure how effective this "attack" can be considered. There's only going to be more coming up where those once were, I mean how hard is it to set up a social network account. The only benefit I can see really is slowing down the recruitment process, but I'm not in a position to say how effective (or ineffective) this might be. One would have to have a pretty good idea of the rate of new soldiers, and from what avenues.

Also can't shake the feeling that if this was the most effective thing to do, it would've been done awhile ago. I mean, hacking social media, as opposed to gaining info on movements, battle plans, and terrorist activity I thought would be the goal.

Tsaba:

I'll just leave this here.... it just seems so relevant.

Okay, that was way funnier than it should have been.

Anyone gonna touch the irony of a group of people who use the mask of a religious extremist as a symbol going up against religious extremists?

Huh... Anonymous doing something useful for once. *shrug* Well, OK then.

I'm sure that ISIS is devastated. They'll probably surrender any day now. GJ Anonymous.

2xDouble:
Huh... Anonymous doing something useful for once. *shrug* Well, OK then.

Useful is a bit of a stretch. Really this will be a minor inconvenience to their targets. If even that.

Phil the Nervous:
"Anonymous takes the fight to ISIS in retaliation for Pilot's horrible murder"
"The American Department of Defense showed off their ability to hack your car"

I am LOVING the irony in headlines today!

Geez, I didn't even make that connection; that is hilarious.

OT: I like that Anon is doing this, but I would like it a lot more if they started going after the money that funds those maniacs. It's one thing to put a dent in their propaganda machine, but if you take their checkbook all of a sudden they can't even afford matches.

If they manage to stop 1 video of someone being brutally killed from being uploaded when it was supposed to I will be happy with them. Any form of grass roots non violent conflict against the propaganda machine is one I would happily support. I would not naively assume that any government has this one covered. (Especially the U.S. why the hell should they care? it's not their pilots being killed) As for anyone questioning the motivations of the hackers, as if soldiers want anything different.

That's cool, keep up the good work I suppose. I imagine ISIS are rather happy when the news plays whatever new video they make all the time and promote the hell out of them. Does a good job at making people scared of ISIS.

Important thing to keep in mind about Anonymous though is that they're a Stand Alone Complex, it's unrelated individuals acting in a similar manner which creates the appearance of a concerted effort. Its members are copies with no clear original. Treating them like an organised group with top down leadership kind of misses the point.

The_Great_Galendo:
I'm never quite sure what to think about Anonymous. Sometimes they do stuff I abhor, sometimes they do stuff I adore. I'm definitely behind them on this one, though.

I feel that is the point though. Anonymous is no one person or group in particular because anyone can hack something and claim to be an Anonymous hacker.

JohnnyDelRay:

erttheking:
Um. Yay? I don't really see how this is supposed to accomplish anything. They didn't exactly hack into a mainframe and steal valuable data, they took down social network accounts. It's just flipping terrorists the bird really.

Yea, as noble as it is, and as much as I agree with it on principle, I'm not sure how effective this "attack" can be considered. There's only going to be more coming up where those once were, I mean how hard is it to set up a social network account. The only benefit I can see really is slowing down the recruitment process, but I'm not in a position to say how effective (or ineffective) this might be. One would have to have a pretty good idea of the rate of new soldiers, and from what avenues.

Also can't shake the feeling that if this was the most effective thing to do, it would've been done awhile ago. I mean, hacking social media, as opposed to gaining info on movements, battle plans, and terrorist activity I thought would be the goal.

One of the scariest things about ISIS is how well their recruitment campaigns have been. They're getting hundreds of American teens to turn against their own country. This was in desperate need of a shutdown.

As to your last point, from what I can tell, it's a lot harder to shut down these social media accounts when they're coming from another country. The US can't or just plain won't shut most of them down, because other countries get in the way.

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