Anonymous versus ISIS

Anonymous has declared cyberwar against the Islamic State in retaliation for the Paris terrorist attacks, the question many are asking is: how can a hacker group actually do?

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More than likely it will begin with taking over and shutting down Twitter accounts. This types organization actually use social media channels like Twitter to communicate.  However the real prize, experts say, is in disrupting the militant group’s recruiting mechanism which is email. ISIS often pitches its radical Islamist message through e-mail, Web chats, Skype calls and  other visual social connectors like YouTube videos.

Anonymous, a 12-year-old virtual community that’s been linked to hacks on everything from the government of Zimbabwe and Bay Area Rapid Transit to major credit card companies like Visa and even the Federal Reserve, has proven plenty capable of following through with its threats.

Anonymous could take is to shut down all online accounts that they can link to the group and then undermine ISIS’ main recruiting tools. Another is to embarrass ISIS through the publishing of evidence of the hypocrisy among its leaders thus trying to breakdown the ranks and under mind the group’s stability. Since they are preying on the people that are most vulnerable and lost, cutting off their means of contact and showing that the leadership is manipulating the masses, is key.

The U.K.’s Independent has reported  that Anonymous has already started to leak information about ISIS members. Using the Twitter handle @opparisofficial, Anonymous said on Tuesday that more than 5,500 Twitter accounts for ISIS are now down.

Anonymous also appears to already be hacking ISIS-related websites, documenting the process on Twitter with the hashtags #TangoDown, #OpParis and #OpISIS, though none of the Twitter accounts involved is verified.

Anonymous will more than look to expose the terrorist group’s finances, communications and logistics as well as intelligence information gathered by various government organizations. Governments that have had sites hacked by Anonymous in recent years include Canada, Australia, Tunisia and Turkey. Efforts to track money flow will likely be a greater challenge but it is surely a target. It’s widely believed that ISIS is funded in large part by oil revenue. In an article written by Associated Press they reported last month that ISIS generates up to $50 million a month through sales of crude from oilfields in Iraq and Syria that it now controls.

Some experts say that this will only further fuel ISIS to become smarter and more stealth with their tactics. What do you think?

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