Anonymous targets ISIS social media, recruitment drives in #OpISIS campaign

The hacktivist collective has targeted and taken down hundreds of social media accounts belonging to the extremist group ISIS.

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Anonymous has launched a massive cyberattack campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization, taking down hundreds of social media accounts and promising there is much more to come.

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An emailed threat can send companies to their knees and propel individuals without so much as a parking ticket straight to a holding cell.

ISIS, believed to be responsible for the recent attack on Paris-based satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo -- before al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) eventually took responsibility -- is infamous for extremist views, recruitment from Western nations and both the kidnap and torture of civilians across the Middle East.

The terrorist organization has built up a large social media presence across websites including Twitter and Facebook, and also uses YouTube to upload video footage -- including the reported executions of prisoners.

In relation for the brutal killing of pilot First Lieutenant Muath al-Kaseasbeh, Jordan has recently stepped up airstrikes against the group in Syria.

While military forces push back against ISIS, Anonymous has taken to the Internet to conduct its own battle against the terrorist organization.

In a video appearing on YouTube and spreading across Twitter like wildfire, the Anonymous hacktivist collective has promised to take on ISIS under the campaign name #OpISIS. The group says in the video that Anonymous and RedCult have targeted and taken down hundreds of Twitter and Facebook accounts -- and the campaign is far from over.

The groups say:

"Operation ISIS continues. [..] We are Muslims, Christians, Jews. We are hackers, crackers, hacktivists, phishers, agents, spies, or just the guy next door. [..] We are young or old, gay or straight. [..] We come from all races, countries, religions and ethnicity. United as one, divided by zero."

The video includes a Pastebin link which details Twitter accounts apparently taken out by the group, with some suspended and others still active. In addition, Anonymous released a list of Facebook accounts "suspected to have been keeping contact with the terrorists (ISIS) in Syria & Iraq," and it "won't hurt to keep an eye on them."

One such account allegedly belongs to a woman acting as an ISIS recruiter who "brainwashes young people" to fight in Syria.

There are still thousands of social media accounts relaying the ISIS message, and as noticed by Hacker News, the extremist group has begun circulating a social media guide to try and circumvent the takedowns by taking over legacy accounts.

Anonymous has promised that this is only the start of the campaign, saying:

"ISIS, we will hunt you, take down your sites, emails, accounts, and expose you. From now on, no safe place for you online. You will be treated like a virus, and we are the cure."

Earlier this year, Anonymous struck down French websites believed to be linked to extremists following the attack on Charlie Hebdo.

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