Shadow War: Pro-ISIS Hackers Send Cryptic Warning & #OpUSA Hackers Target US Military Websites
The Global Revolution Team is a group which claims affiliation with Anonymous and is focused on #OpUSA, in addition to other operations such as #OpArabia which the group states is “for all Arabs.” Based in Malaysia, the following are hacks the group claimed responsibility for on January 5:
- Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)
- Naval Sea Logistics Center (NSLC)
- Department of Defense (system housing labor data)
- Defense Logistics Agency
- Defense Integrated Military HR System
According to the Global Revolution Team, the purpose of targeting these websites is to end war. The full list of the group’s targets can be viewed here.
Another group of hackers, AnonGhost, recently declared on Twitter that “a big thing is coming from AnonGhost.” A few days prior to releasing that statement, the group released a video entitled, “The War Was Coming” in which it warns of retribution.
AnonGhost is comprised largely of Palestinians and others from Middle-Eastern countries. The group targets government, corporate and private websites around the world and is pro-terror and anti-Semitic.
It’s an independent group of hackers who claim a loose association with hacktivist group Anonymous. But, its values do not reflect those of the Anonymous collective as a whole. As is explained in an article at Anonymous website, AnonHQ:
“Anonymous is an organisation that does not restrict its membership by ethnicity, race, nationality, creed or class. As a result, the actions of some Anons are not representative of the entire collective. Actions to attempt to link Anonymous to some organisation for an uncertain agenda, ISIS for example, are done entirely at the behest of individuals. Hence although some actions have the backing of the collective, others are attempted by independent groups of Anons. The reader should keep this in mind as he reads this article; back to the matter at hand.”
GhostSec, a counterterrorism operation within Anonymous, has no affiliation whatsoever with the group, but is sometimes confused with AnonGhost because of similarities in the names. GhostSec counters terrorists online — in particular ISIS — and also opposes organizations such as Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Early in 2015, AnonGhost publicly declared support for ISIS.
According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), “The network’s cyber-attacks on behalf of ISIS augment the terrorist organization’s broader online propaganda efforts by helping bring its message directly to targets in the U.S.”
In April 2015, AnonGhost launched #OpUSA, one of a few of its campaigns targeting the U.S. The ADL reports that, “in the past year, AnonGhost has claimed responsibility for at least four cyber-attacks on U.S. law enforcement affiliated websites, including the Wayne County (Indiana) Sheriff’s Department, the Rapides Parish (Louisiana) Police Jury, the Larimer (Colorado) Sheriff’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office in Piatt County (Illinois).” University websites in the U.S. have also been hacked on multiple occasions by AnonGhost.
In addition to defacing U.S. websites, AnonGhost frequently engages in cyber-attacks which directly target Israel and Israelis. #OpIsrael, for instance, is an annual anti-Israel hacking campaign which coincides with Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Last year, in April, AnonGhost reportedly donated to Palestinian charities from funds it had acquired by stealing credit card numbers belonging to Israeli citizens. According to TechWorm, “One of the key member[s] and founder of AnonGhost, Mauritania Attacker told the Daily Dot that the group had paid out roughly $18,000 to an unspecified number of Palestinian charities using stolen cards on Tuesday.”
The hacker group has also developed various software tools which enable users supportive of AnonGhost to launch their own attacks. On December 14, AnonGhost released a video featuring a DDoS Tool.
Similarly, ISIS supporters have launched a magazine for the purpose of teaching would-be jihadists how to launch cyber attacks against the West. Tips on how to avoid being surveilled by the authorities are also provided. The first issue of the German-language Kybernetiq Magazine was published in December and has been distributed through social media channels such as Twitter and Telegram.