Ghost Security

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Ghost Security, also known as GhostSec, is a self-described "vigilante" group that was formed to attack ISIS websites that promote Islamic extremism.[1][2] It is considered an offshoot of the Anonymous hacking collective.[3][4] According to experts of online Jihad activism, the group gained momentum after the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris in January 2015.[2] The group claims to have taken down hundreds of ISIS-affiliated websites or social media accounts and thwarted potential terrorist attacks by cooperating with law enforcement and intelligence agencies.[5] The group uses social media hashtags like #GhostSec - #GhostSecurity or #OpISIS to promote its activities.[3]

On November 14, 2015 Anonymous posted a video[6] announcing its "biggest operation ever" against the terrorist group[7][8] in response to the attacks in Paris, taking down 3,824 pro-ISIS Twitter accounts[9] and doxxing recruiters.[10] A message posted by an ISIS-affiliated account on encrypted chat service Telegram replied defiantly to Anonymous by providing instructions on how to respond to a potential cyberattack.[11][12] On 25 November, an ISIS WordPress dark web site was reportedly hacked by GhostSec, which replaced the site with an advert for Prozac.[13]

GhostSec found information related to planned terrorist attacks in New York and Tunisia and passed this information on to law enforcement authorities.[14] In the wake of the cooperation with law enforcement, GhostSec decided to "become legit" to more efficiently combat ISIS. The group renamed itself "Ghost Security Group" and by November 2015 ended its association with Anonymous. Those of the members who opposed this development re-formed under the old name of "GhostSec" and maintained Anonymous ties. Both groups continue to operate against ISIS.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Beauty Queen and Vigilante Female Hackers Declare Online War on ISIS". Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b Gladstone, Rick. "Behind a Veil of Anonymity, Online Vigilantes Battle the Islamic State". New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Ghost Security Hackers, Offshoot Of 'Anonymous,' Claim They Disrupted ISIS Attack By Intercepting Twitter Messages". International Business Times. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
  4. ^ "Anonymous vs. the Islamic State". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
  5. ^ "Can Cyber Activists Chase ISIS off Twitter?". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
  6. ^ ANONYMOUS réagit aux attentats de PARIS 13/11/15, YouTube
  7. ^ "Anonymous Declares Cyber War on ISIS. Why It Matters". Fortune. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  8. ^ "Anonymous 'declares war' on Islamic State". BBC. 16 November 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  9. ^ Catalin Cimpanu (16 November 2015). "One Day Later, Anonymous Already Takes Down 3,824 Pro-ISIS Twitter Accounts – UPDATE". softpedia.
  10. ^ Andrew Griffin (17 November 2015). "'Operation Isis' Anonymous activists begin leaking details of suspected extremist Twitter accounts". The Independent.
  11. ^ "'Idiots': ISIS responds to Anonymous threatening its 'biggest operation ever' against it". Business Insider. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  12. ^ Reisinger, Don. "ISIS Calls Anonymous 'Idiots' As Cyber War Heats Up". Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  13. ^ Cuthbertson, Anthony (25 November 2015). "Hackers replace dark web Isis propaganda site with advert for Prozac". Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  14. ^ Cuthbertson, Anthony (22 July 2015). "Anonymous affiliate GhostSec thwarts Isis terror plots in New York and Tunisia". International Business Times. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  15. ^ Smith IV, Jack (4 December 2015). "Anonymous Divided: Inside the Two Warring Hacktivist Cells Fighting ISIS Online". Mic. Retrieved 3 November 2016.