Cybercrime, Terrorism

War on Terrorism in the Dark Web

Anonymous logo from official Twitter account.

“ISIS, we will hunt you and take down your sites, accounts, emails and expose you. From now on, there is no safe place for you online. You will be treated like a virus and we are the cure.”   This is the message from hacker group Anonymous reported on November 21, 2015.

In reaction to the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday, November 13, 2015 the well-known computer hacker group called Anonymous declared war on Islamic Terrorists (ISIS) aka Daesh.  It began with a video published the day following the attacks with their declaration of war online with ISIS and an announcement of their Twitter hashtag #OpParis

Like a Hollywood movie, the mysterious group announced a cyber-war on all terrorist related websites and social media accounts.  A few days later Anonymous posted that they had closed down thousands of terror related Twitter accounts.

 ISIS reportedly responded by insulting Anonymous, referring to them as ‘idiots’ and then moving their operations to the Dark Web.  The Dark or Deep Web is only accessible through a special browser called Tor which allows users to browse the web anonymously.

Anonymous’s organization is loosely held together by unknown people around the globe, not unlike ISIS.   Their videos are published in multiple languages and they claim to be from various religious and national backgrounds.

While Anonymous have chosen to release their intentions and successes publicly, they will not give in-person interviews.  However, they are willing to communicate with journalists via text.

One interview with an Anonymous member answered some questions including:

Isn’t it better for the fight against IS if its members talk openly on Twitter where the security services can see them, rather than being driven underground?

The propaganda of ISIS is based on advertising their actions. They want to strike terror with their name, with bloody images, with violent videos. We can not fight them with guns and rifles, stopping their propaganda is an effective way to weaken their manpower and their presence in the Internet. Disrupting their communications makes it difficult to organise their attacks in a fluid manner.

While most people don’t understand how all of this activity works and what the results will be, anything that helps to take down the terrorist organization which utilizes social media to spread psychological warfare is welcome.


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