Not too long ago, hacktivist group Anonymous pledged to take action against ISIS, who claimed responsibility for the recent Paris attacks, by attacking their online realm, and taking down social media accounts and websites that promote and laud the said issue. And as promised, the iconic organization has just taken down ISIS' main forum, which is widely used for the terrorists' communications.
Rachel Bryson, a researcher at the Quilliam foundation who specializes in Islamic State messaging confirms that this takedown will largely affect the operations to the terrorists' communication systems, however, it will not affect the spread of Jihadist propaganda in the long run. She added that even if Anonymous becomes successful in paralyzing all of ISIS' systems, the terrorist group will still find a way to rebuild them.
As part of the attacks against ISIS, Anonymous has also taken down over 5,000 Twitter accounts that are associated with the militant group a few days ago. The result of these attacks annoyed people who are sympathizing with the terrorist group, which led to some of them promising to avenge ISIS.
According to some analysts, these attacks launched by Anonymous could be doing more bad than good, as ISIS will be forced to use other platforms, which will then make it difficult for authorities to track down the terrorists. ISIS has reportedly moved the majority of its operations towards the dark web, which is only accessible with special computer programs like Tor Browser. “We keep seeing them migrating across different platforms,” according to Bryson. “I don’t think by shutting down a current means of communication will mean the Islamic State fails. It’s not key to defeating them.”
Moreover, the group has also been using Telegram, which offers end-to-end encrypted messaging. Telegram, however, has taken the time to suspend 78 public channels that were potentially used towards promoting terrorism.