“#OpParis” is the name of the cyberwar campaign which was declared by the online Hacktivist group Anonymous in order to help with hunting out and shutting down social media accounts and websites affiliated with the Islamic State militant group (ISIS).
ISIS had claimed responsibility for the terrifying terrorist attacks that rocked Paris last week, killing 129 people and injuring hundreds more.
Hours later, Anonymous posted a video on YouTube saying they will launch their “biggest operation ever” with the warning that “Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down.”
The Following Video via Anonymous Official:
In response to the Anonymous declaration, ISIS terrorists called Anonymous “idiots.” The Hacker News reported that the message from ISIS to Anonymous came through one of the ISIS-affiliated official channels, dubbed ELITE SECTION of IS, on the messaging app Telegram.
The message read:
“The #Anonymous hackers threatened in a new video release that they will carry out a major hack operation on the Islamic state (idiots).”
ISIS also sent out a message to its supporters and followers (via a Telegram Channel called “Khilafah News”) explaining some guidelines to prevent getting hacked by Anonymous. But it seems this didn’t work!
— GhostSecPI (@GhostSecPI) November 16, 2015
Soon after, Anonymous said they had taken down more than 5,500 ISIS affiliated accounts within 24 Hours in #OpParis (Operation Paris). Moreover, the final result was more than 46,000 ISIS-affiliated Twitter accounts with an average of 1,000 followers each, according to The Atlantic.
Anonymous spokesman Alex Poucher told RT:
“Our capability to take down ISIS is a direct result of our collective’s sophisticated hackers, data miners, and spies that we have all around the world. We have people very, very close to ISIS on the ground, which makes gathering intel about ISIS and related activities very easy for us.”
Poucher also added that Anonymous hacking acumen “might be better than any world government’s tools to combat ISIS online,” lighting on the fact that “ISIS does not have hackers like Anonymous have.”
“They picked a fight with Anonymous when they attacked Paris, and now they should expect us,” he said, adding that the collective “will not sit by and watch these terror attacks unfold around the world.”
According to Foreign Policy, this is not the first time for Anonymous to target ISIS. It happened before and the result was the destruction of 149 ISIS websites. The hacktivist group started its operations against ISIS following their horrific attack on Charlie Hebdo in January.
Anonymous said that they will “unite humanity,” telling ISIS to “expect massive cyber-attacks.”
“Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down,” the masked Anon spokesman in the video said. “You should know that we will find you and we will not let you go.”
Anonymous has also given the world a new gift by releasing a series of guides to help those who are interested in getting involved with the group’s Operation Paris cyberwar campaign against ISIS. “The more the merrier,” the loose-knit hacktivist group said in a message, which included links to how-to guides.
The newbie “How-to Hacking Guide” includes methods to hack websites related to ISIS, as well as details on how to identify and take down the group’s social media accounts.
Anonymous reportedly wrote:
“Instead of sitting idle in the channel or lurking around and doing nothing, you can benefit greatly from the different tools and guides that have been provided to you. Your contribution means a lot and we encourage you to partake in all of the Op’s activities if you can, the more the merrier.”
The hacktivist group made 3 types of guides available: a ‘NoobGuide’ for people who want to learn how to hack, a ‘Reporter’ guide that explains how to set up a bot for Twitter in order to unearth IS accounts, and a ‘Searcher’ guide for finding IS websites. Here they are:
- NoobGuide — Methods to hack websites associated with Islamic State
- Reporter — How to set up a Twitter bot for uncovering IS accounts.
- Searcher — How to identify and take down ISIS related websites and social media accounts
The 3 guides were posted to an IRC channel used by Anonymous to share information on OpParis.
The Anonymous member who posted the guide reportedly said:
“There should be plenty of work to keep you occupied so get going. If you wish to submit anything of value, place your findings on ghostbin.com and share to the link to one of the channel operators and we can talk about what to do next.”
— RT America (@RT_America) November 18, 2015
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