TECH

Anonymous Claims Thousands Of Pro-ISIS Twitter Accounts Have Been Disabled

19/11/2015 11:01 GMT | Updated 19/11/2015 11:59 GMT

Anonymous claim to have disabled over 8,000 pro-Islamic State Twitter accounts, holding true to their declaration of cyberwar against the militant group.

Using their anti-ISIS campaign hashtag #OpParis, announced in the wake of the Paris attacks, the online hacktivists took stock of the accounts that have been shutdown so far:

However, reports of accounts incorrectly being identified as ISIS recruiters are starting to appear.

Jhon Joe, who appears to be affiliated with Anonymous and has been tweeting about various members of the militant group had to issue an apology for getting his "intel" wrong.

After getting pushback on Twitter for his error, he later said:

On Wednesday, Anonymous released a "how to" hack guide in the hopes of recruiting more help.

According to the International Business Times, their instructions included a "NoobGuide" for those who want to learn how to hack, a "Reporter" guide explaining the process of setting up bot accounts as well as a Searcher" to find ISIS websites.

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"Instead of sitting idle in the [chat] channel or lurking around and doing nothing, you can benefit greatly from the different tools and guides that have been provided to you," a member of Anonymous reportedly wrote.

"Your contribution means a lot and we encourage you to partake in all of the Op's activities if you can, the more the merrier."

However, the militant group have hit back at the hacker collective's threat calling them "idiots" on the free encrypted messenger app, Telegram.

A screenshot of the message, which was released on the app's Khilafah News' channel, shows ISIS making light of the hackers but still listing five different ways to avoid getting hacked, including the use of direct messages on Twitter.

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The note was first picked up by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, a London-based think tank researching radicalisation, terrorism, and political violence.

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Nick Kaderbhai, a research fellow at the institute told the Huffington Post UK that the message was "released on the 'Khilafah News' channel on Telegram.

"Anyone can subscribe to it (technically) however the more IS channels you subscribe to the more open you are to investigation."

While ISIS is taking Anonymous' threats seriously, experts are still unsure about the difference they can make to the terrorists' online presence.

Kaderbhai told HuffPost: "It should first be stated that speculation about Anonymous is difficult given the nature of the group i.e. the lack of info regarding its capabilities, the horizontal nature of its leadership etc.

"In order to thus assess Anonymous' potential impact against IS, one must understand it through a framework of objectives, tactics and strategy.

"If the objective of Anonymous is to make a serious dent in IS' online presence, then there is a good chance they will struggle."

Anonymous "declared war" on the militants after a horrific attack killed at least 132 people in Paris.

In a video posted on Friday night, the hacktivists said: "Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down. You should know that we will find you and we will not let you go. We will launch the biggest operation ever against you."

GRAPHIC WARNING: Paris attacks