The Hacker Group Anonymous as Do-Gooder?

Linda Musthaler
By | January 14, 2015

Posted in: Network Security Trends , Hosting Provider DDoS Protection

We are usually writing about the hacker group Anonymous in terms of the harmful attacks its members launch against business and government websites. But now the BBC is reporting that Anonymous is claiming credit for knocking a terrorist recruiting website offline.

Anonymous is declaring war on jihadist websites following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. The group posted a short video on YouTube which it calls a "message for al-Qaeda, the Islamic State and other terrorists". A voice in the video says in French that Anonymous will track down and close all accounts related to terrorists on social networks to avenge the French victims and to protect freedom of speech.

The weapon of choice for Anonymous is often a DDoS attack. The wrath of the group has previously taken aim at websites belonging to governments, corporations and religious institutions.

The Islamic State and other jihadist groups have been known to use social websites to promote their doctrine and recruit members to support their cause. You would think that knocking these groups offline would be a good thing. However, critics of Anonymous' actions claim that anti-terrorism efforts will be thwarted if the terrorists resort to other means of communications that are out of reach of the governments and militaries that attempt to monitor such communications.

I don't know about that, but it seems to make sense to me to take the terrorists offline using whatever means are available—even a DDoS attack from a rogue group like Anonymous.

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