It’s hard to know if the international hacker group Anonymous are good guys or bad guys. Sometimes it seems they play both sides of that coin, but in this case, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
In an as yet unverified video purportedly posted to YouTube by the cyber-attack group, they have declared war on ISIS. In the video, which is delivered entirely in French, the announcer, wearing their signature Guy Fawkes mask, states, “Expect massive cyber attacks. War is declared. Get prepared. 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.” In a show of solidarity with France, he goes on to say, “the French people are stronger than you and will come out of this atrocity even stronger.”
Although the authenticity of this video has yet to be determined, a tweet on Anonymous’s official Twitter account states, “Make no mistake: #Anonymous is at war with #Daesh. We won’t stop opposing #IslamicState. We’re also better hackers.” So whether the video is authentic or not, the sentiment obviously is, and Anonymous is serious about this.
Note the use of the name Daesh instead of ISIS. According to an article on theweek.com, “The name Daesh, according to France24, is a ‘loose acronym’ for ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham). The name is commonly used by enemies of ISIS, and it also has many negative undertones, as Daesh sounds similar to the Arabic words Daes (‘one who crushes something underfoot’) and Dahes (‘one who sows discord’).”
ISIS doesn’t like the word Daesh, which is a very good reason for anyone to use Daesh instead.
Anonymous has actually been fighting Daesh for over a year, taking down many of their Twitter accounts and doing what they can to disrupt communications within the group. The attacks in France are apparently spurring them on to greater engagement. I wish them the very best in this effort.