The war of words between Anonymous and the Islamic State has escalated to petty name calling, with the terrorist group calling the hacktivists idiots. However, despite dismissing the capabilities of Anonymous, IS has been warning its operatives about being careful on the internet.
Anonymous has been working to expose Islamic State recruiters who work online, and are claiming to have taken down more 5,500 social media accounts. The hacktivist group believes that it is necessary to cut off the terrorists from the internet; which would limit their recruitment efforts and reduce the amount of propaganda that gets out.
At least one post from Anonymous has also revealed a physical address that is claimed to be the location of an Islamic State recruiter. The accuracy of the information has not been confirmed, and the internet has not been the most reliable of sources of tracking down terrorists.
During this time, a Telegram account linked to IS posted a public announcement warning members of the group to be wary of Anonymous activities. The post provided instructions for avoiding being hacked and detected by Anonymous, which included advice to use VPNs to mask their locations. IS members were also advised to avoid going on Twitter, or speaking to anyone they do not know.
It is curious to observe this cyber war unfolding between the two sides. Critics have questioned the effectiveness of Anonymous’ activities in dealing with the IS. Although, considering that the terrorists have deemed it necessary to warn members about the possibility of being unmasked by hackers, it looks like they are at least concerned about being in the crosshairs.