The hacker collective known as Anonymous first declared war on Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS) supporters back in the Summer of 2014 with Operation NO2ISIS which promised to target the online infrastructure of those countries sponsoring Islamic State militants. This declaration followed the hacking of an Anonymous Twitter account, @TheAnonMessage, which was then used to post photos of a terrorist assault near Baghdad. At the time, an Anonymous spokesperson stated that "these savages who have no religion or morality are bent on burning everything in their path, killing and pillaging as they go. They must be stopped." Because Islamic State itself had a pretty limited online footprint, at least in terms of infrastructure that might be vulnerable to a hack-based attack, the decision was taken to target the people and countries which supported them instead. Now things are different, with the terrorist group using social media to promote itself and to distribute videos showing executions of hostages.


Following the Charlie Hebdo atrocity in Paris, Anonymous declared war directly on Islamic State and promised to "track down and close all accounts on social networks related to terrorists in order to avenge those who have been killed." That threat, under #OpCharlieHebdo, was thought to have come from a specific branch of Anonymous, a group of Belgian activist to be precise, and seems to have largely focused on DDoS'ing ISIS recruitment sites. However, a new Anonymous video has now emerged which launches #OpISIS and claims responsibility for the taking down of hundreds of social media accounts, on both Facebook and Twitter, which have been used by Islamic State for propaganda and recruitment purposes. This is on top of the estimated 1500 ISIS-related accounts suspended by Twitter since the middle of last year. In the video an Anonymous spokesperson declares that the Anons participating in the attacks are comprised of Muslims, Christian and Jews alike, are from all walks of life and are "young, or old, gay or straight… from all races, countries, religions, and ethnicity. United as one, divided by zero." The social media account takedowns, Anonymous insists, are just the start of the #OpISIS campaign and there will be more to come. "We will hunt you, take down your sites, accounts, emails, and expose you" the hacker collective concludes, warning that "you will be treated like a virus, and we are the cure…"

About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...

Slavi 94

Interesting, do they mention any real names or peoples' private data of the exposed ISIS members or it will be kept confidential if the manage to 'kill the virus' ?

happygeek 2,411

An updated list of accounts taken down, or at least some of them, can be found here:

Slavi 94

Thanks #Geek

Reverend Jim 3,174


Gribouillis 1,391

These anonymous could very well be a western intelligence agency.

vegaseat 1,735

The U.S. government is creating a new agency to monitor cybersecurity threats. Let's hope these experts will take care of the abuse of the social media by Islamic State. Actually pastebin itself is abused by these folks.


Anonymous hackers directed at ISIS, like flies on a donkey's nose, bothersome, but not lethal.

happygeek 2,411

Oh absolutely. I don't think anyone seriously imagines it will stop the IS threat. That said, better some flies than no flies at all. :)

pixelsoul 272

These anonymous could very well be a western intelligence agency.

I think it's unlikely, unless the show they put on for the media was to achieve some other agenda they have, maybe to keep cyber security issues in the news. If not an agency, it's admirable that they want to help hush up IS, but the most dangerous hackers in the world truly are anonymous. Or maybe they're the ones working for the western intelligence agency /shrug.