by Jacob Peterson
Last week around 800 Twitter accounts, as well as multiple email addresses and Facebook pages associated and operated by the Islamic State (ISIS), were taken down after being hacked. Responsibility for the attack has been claimed by the hacker group Anonymous, who have been targeting the Islamic State since January, following the deaths of 12 people during the shooting of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Following the attacks, Anonymous declared via a youtube video that they will be eliminating ISIS’s online presence, specifically their social media recruitment through Facebook and Twitter.
The group of self-proclaimed “hacktivists” are a loosely associated international network, consisting of both hackers and activists. Originating in 2003 on the imageboard 4chan, the group has gained much notoriety in the past few years, having been responsible for several high profile cyber attacks starting in 2006. These include operations against the Church of Scientology (2008), the hacking of former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin’s email (2008) and were connected with the attacks on Sony websites (2011). These are only a handful of incidents associated with the group.
The targeted accounts and emails were listed online by anonymous on February 10th, with many of the accounts later being taken down by both Twitter, Facebook, and several email providers. Twitter refused to comment on the situation, while Facebook declined to comment on whether they had been alerted to the offending content by the hackers. Of the Facebook accounts, 11 of the 12 listed were shut down. As of now, no other major attacks have occurred, but the group has made it clear they are not finished: “[ISIS] will be treated like a virus, and we are the cure. We own the internet”.
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