Terror group ISIS says the hacking group Anonymous is a bunch of “idiots” for declaring “total war” against them recently.
A spokesman for Anonymous announced in a video released this week that it would use its resources to hunt down the jihadist group.
Pledging to use their skills to “unite humanity,” the group warned terrorists to “expect massive cyber attacks.”
“Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down,” the spokesman said. “You should know that we will find you and we will not let you go.”
Just a few days later, the group claimed responsibility for taking down thousands of Twitter accounts of Islamic State members and associates.
“We can not fight them with guns and rifles,” a spokesperson with Anonymous told the BBC. “Stopping their propaganda is an effective way to weaken their manpower and their presence in the Internet.”
— Anonymous (@TheAnonMovement) November 17, 2015
ISIS responded on November 18, calling Anonymous “idiots” in a post on the encrypted smartphone messaging app, according to Newsweek.
The Islamic Cyber Army then attempted to make a joke: “What they gonna hack…all they can do is hacking twitter accounts, emails, etc…”
The group also told their followers to do the following: “Do not make your email same as your username on twitter this mistake cost many ansar [users sympathetic to ISIS] their accounts and the kuffar [non-Muslims] published their IP, so be careful.”
It also said to not talk to people the users don’t know, whether on Telegram or direct messaging.”
Anonymous is likely having a big impact, expert David Gewirtz explained to CBS.
Do you want to help us fight ISIS? Here’s how! https://t.co/NMe0KwZv8b
— Operation ISIS (@OpIceISIS) November 18, 2015
“Cyberattacks can have a tremendous impact,” he said.
“Of course, they can’t be used to arrest people or take terrorists off the field, but they can certainly be used to compromise structural components of terrorist operations. More to the point, they can go after both the money that terrorists have and their funding sources. Damaging the money flow can certainly have an impact on the terrorists’ operations.”
Anonymous is trying to get non-members to help out, publishing action guides online.
The guide, posted on PasteBin, tells people to report extremist Twitter accounts, but also gives instructions for how to hack into accounts, and other measures.
“Instead of sitting idle in the [chat] channel or lurking around and doing nothing, you can benefit greatly from the different tools and guides that have been provided to you,” a member of the group wrote.
“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.”