ISIS, the Islamic militant group that claimed responsibility for the deadly Paris attacks, appears unfazed by threats of cyberattacks from hacking collective Anonymous.
In a message circulated via encrypted messaging app Telegram, an account allegedly linked to ISIS called Anonymous “idiots” and offered tips to avoid being hacked by the group. The message, which was posted in English and Arabic, was forwarded to multiple ISIS-affiliated Telegram channels, according to Business Insider.
Anonymous, a loosely affiliated group of Internet users who hack websites and spread leaked information, on Sunday vowed to launch “massive cyberattacks” against ISIS following the brutal terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday. ISIS, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, claimed responsibility for the attacks, which left more than 120 dead and hundreds more wounded. Anonymous said in a series of tweets and a YouTube video that it wants to force ISIS into Internet obscurity.
The online back-and-forth between ISIS and Anonymous underscores the changing nature of modern conflicts, as terrorism, and the fight against it, spreads to the Internet. ISIS in particular is known for using the Internet and social media to recruit new members and to broadcast chilling images of executions and other violence.
In its warning message, ISIS gave supporters a handful of tips to avoid being hacked by Anonymous. The group warned against opening links from untrusted sources and talking to unknown people on Telegram. Supporters were also told to avoid direct messages on Twitter. The message also said supporters should use a VPN, or virtual private network, which can create a secure “tunnel” for Web browsing, so all data sent to and from a browser is encrypted.