The message is chilling, even if the source is surprising. International hacking group Anonymous this weekend declared cyberwar on Isil. The Anonymous message on Twitter read: “We are coming for you. Make no mistake: #Anonymous is at war with #Daesh. We won’t stop opposing #IslamicState. We’re also better hackers.”
That last sentence is key. What Anonymous is talking about is a cyberwar against Isil, one that is not restricted by any of the laws that could hamper a cyberattack undertaken by U.S., French or Russian governments. And, to Anonymous’ credit, they are indeed better hackers.
What sort of damage can the hackers do? Actually a considerable amount.
Release of private information: retrieval and dissemination of information considered private by Isil.
“Doxxing” members: revealing personal, private information about members of Isil.
“DDoS” attacks: flooding servers with information requests.
Hack accounts: Take over social media accounts used by Isil.
“Google Bomb” / “Googlewashing” searchable terms with links to anti-Isil websites.
Prank calls: flood Isil phone networks with spam phone calls.The above are all highly damaging and can do anything from revealing the identity of Isil members, to hampering radicalisation, to shutting down Isil websites.
Funding. The Anonymous campaign can be effective in this area in two ways. First, by repeatedly shutting down huge numbers of donation sites, Anonymous will make it far harder for people who want to donate to do so. Second, by shutting down propaganda sites, it can reduce the number of people who feel the desire to donate.
They are coming for you.
PS. Can’t Anonymous hack banks and take all their money?
Update 17/11/15 Anonymous has already begun to reveal the details of hacked Isil jihadis, reports CityAM.
Anonymous is now mobilising under the hashtags #opISIS and #opParis to take down IS-linked websites and social media accounts. The group has also begun leaking private data of suspected terrorists, including the home address of a suspected IS recruiter in Europe, according to reports in the Independent.
The group, which has wrongly exposed people in the past, has supposedly taken down some 2,800 social media accounts linked to IS and its supporters in the past 24 hours. Hackers are also infiltrating Isil groups, taking on more of a security role. The Ghost Security group is sending vital information to the FBI and MI6.
As the hackers told Isil, It’s total war! That is the spirit!