After the recent terrorist attack on France-based satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which globally besmirched the name of Islam, hacking group Anonymous has launched an offensive against Islamic websites promoting extremism in any way. The initiative code-named '#OpCharlieHebdo' seeks to shut down extremist websites through rather unsophisticated but effective DDoS attacks; the same method used by Lizard squad to render Xbox Live and PlayStation Network offline last month.
The group carried out its first attack on the afternoon of 10 January on ansar-alhaqq.net; the website was reportedly classified by French newspapers as a 'Jihadist website' in 2013.
The attack has been carried out using DDoS; a process which results in a website being bombarded with traffic, eventually crashing it. The operation looks to be continuing with the @OpCharlieHebdo Twitter account being quite active in posting regular updates regarding its activities.
Furthermore, they have asked to report twitter accounts which may be involved in acts of terrorism and have also warned other extremist websites to 'expect them' as well. Their press release states:
It's obvious that some people don't want, in a free world, this sacrosanct right to express in any way one's opinions. Anonymous has always fought for the freedom of speech, and will never let this right besmirched by obscurantism and mysticism. Expect a massive reaction from us, because this freedom is what we've been always fighting for.
The hacking group is not new to such operations; last summer it was allegedly involved in fighting Islamic State militants online as well. The group often takes the liberty to launch similar operations in the name of 'free speech' and other civil rights.