A hacktivist group which calls itself anonymous has stated that its fight against the Islamic State and the supporters of IS is its biggest campaign ever. Anonymous is targeting the online presence of IS and identifying the Twitter accounts of IS supporters and sympathizers. The group calls its campaign Operation ISIS or Opisis and they are collecting data of the thousands of the Twitter accounts of ISIS and IS supporters.
As a part of this campaign, they published a list of more than 25000 Twitter accounts of pro-ISIS groups on 31st March and subsequently on 10th April; they published a list websites of pro-ISIS groups as well as the list of their web hosting services. The list was published by GhostSec which is a faction of the Anonymous group. The list published names of web hosting services which included Yahoo!, Google, CloudFare and Godaddy.com.
Anonymous is seeking help from individuals around the globe and has been requesting them to identify pro-ISIS Twitter accounts. They have published a guide for the purpose of identification of such accounts. As per the guide, there are three important steps involved in identifying the Twitter accounts of pro-ISIS entities.
The steps are:
• Identification of an ISIS or a pro-ISIS account
• Collecting the names of the accounts and the URLs and creating a list
• Reporting the list to Anonymous
There are however certain issues relating to identifying such accounts as there is a possibility that many of these may not actually be pro-ISIS accounts. There has been no official comment so far from Twitter. However, a research associate with the Council of Foreign Relations, Emerson Brooking has suggested that the US government must help organisations like Anonymous to fight the nemesis of pro-ISIS groups and their online presence since the government themselves have failed so far to fight the online presence of such groups.