Around tens of thousands of Twitter handles, supporting ISIS, have been brought down by the Ghost Security Group. It would have been nearly impossible to track down such twitter accounts without the help of these hacktivists.
Ghost Security Group is a rouge hacker organization, consisting of several computer specialists and counterintelligence authorities. The group has been fairly active in sending info to FBI and other intelligence agencies through Michael S. Smith II, co-founder of Kronos Advisory and a Congressional terrorism adviser.
Smith has paid gratitude to the group. “Without a doubt, this group has saved lives. At least into the dozens. There are people working in the national security community in the United States, Europe, the Middle East … who will never be credited with that.” Smith told the CNN Money group.
This hacktivists group has been successful in preventing two major terrorist attacks in the recent past. In June, they foiled Islamic State’s plan to carry out terrorist attacks in Tunisia. While in July, they helped in tracing the location of a twitter account which hinted an attack at a beach resort.
“When you look at what happened with the Tunisia data, they literally saved lives,” said Smith. “That’s what’s remarkable — that a small group of people can have that kind of impact.”- said Smith.
Formed after Charlie Hebdo Attacks in Paris last January, the group has been successful in taking down over 149 IS propaganda websites and 6000 videos since its inception. Over 110,000 pro-IS social media accounts have also been taken down with the help of this group.
The said Twitter account was being monitored by this group for quite a while. Suspicions arose when the account’s followers included high-profile IS member and very few others.
The group consists of few member from the Anonymous group and have been feeding information to the intelligence agencies and foiled more than 10 terror attack plans by the ISIS. The group’s activities have intensified following the recent Paris attacks.
They started by taking down over 5,500 of ISIS’ twitter accounts and revealing the identities of the terrorists along with their physical address. The Group broadcasts the list of suspected Twitter accounts and lets other users to report them in order to take such accounts down.
“If they don’t listen to us within a week, we shut it down by force,” he said. “Anything with intelligence value, we leave intact” DigitaShadow, executive Director of Ghost Security Group said.
Such reporting has compelled ISIS to move on other communication channels such as Telegram. DigitaShadow said that the group has started gathering information on Telegram.