A group affiliated with the Anonymous hacker collective took down an alleged ISIS website and replaced it with advertisements and a message to calm down.
Ghost Sec apparently took down the website in an attempt to make ISIS propaganda harder to track down. They put up an advertisement for an online pharmacy that sells Viagra and Prozac.
— רוח רפאים בעילום שם (@IsraelsACG) November 21, 2015
“Enhance your calm,” the message read. “Too many people are into this ISIS-stuff. Please gaze upon this lovely ad so we can upgrade our infrastructure to give you ISIS content you all so desperately crave.”
According to The Independent, ISIS websites have been moved to the dark web in an attempt to evade being discovered. Before the site was hacked, it was reported to be one of several sites copying propaganda from ISIS.
Earlier this year, Anonymous “declared war” against ISIS and doubled up on its operations against the terrorist group after the attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead.
Ghost Sec is a splinter group that is reportedly affiliated with Anonymous. However, some reports have said the group isn’t affiliated.
On Nov. 23, members of Ghost Sec warned against reporting all tweets in Arabic, as some Anonymous members have been doing.
Some experts have mixed opinions over what Anonymous has recently done against ISIS.
“This is likely to implicate people who follow ISIS but don’t support it,” Lawrence Husick, co-chairman of the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Center for the Study of Terrorism, told the New York Times. “They follow it for research and intelligence purposes. So it’s painting with too broad a brush.”
“This is likely to implicate people who follow ISIS but don’t support it,” Husick said. “They follow it for research and intelligence purposes. So it’s painting with too broad a brush.”
He added Anonymous sometimes publishes incorrect information or targets the wrong people.
“I’m never in favor of cybervigiliantism,” he noted, “even when it serves what I think is a just purpose.”