The Islamic State militant group (ISIS) released a statement on Monday responding to Anonymous’s declaration of “total war,” calling the hacker group “idiots” and offering guidance to pro-ISIS supporters to protect against cyber attacks.
Anonymous threatened that it would launch its “biggest operation ever” against ISIS in response to the wave of shooting and suicide bomb attacks in Paris that left at least 129 people dead.
The “Islamic Cyber Army” posted a response to Anonymous’s video release on its purported official channel on the privacy app Telegram, giving a series of tips to ISIS supporters. The post was shared by Anonymous-affiliated accounts on social media, such as the group’s Venezuelan arm. Jihadi monitoring network SITE Intelligence also confirmed the post.
“The Anonymous hackers threatened in new video release that they will carry out a major hack operation on the Islamic State (idiots),” ISIS’s post read. “What they gonna hack...all they can do is hacking twitter accounts, emails etc…”
The militant group then listed a series of steps that its supporters should follow online, including not opening suspicious links, changing their locations using workaround technology on their phones and computers, avoiding contact with unknown people on their phone and computers and to renaming their email addresses.
The post says: “Do not talk to to people u don’t know on telegram and block them if u have to cause there are many glitches in telegram and they can hack you by it. Don’t talk to people on twitter DM cause they can hack u too.
“Do not make your email same as your username on twitter this mistake cost many Ansar (helpers) their accounts and the kuffar published their IP so be careful.”
Anonymous’s two-minute video threatening ISIS has amassed more than five millions views since it launched on Saturday. "War is declared. Get prepared," a masked figure warned the group in the video.
"The French people are stronger than you and will come out of this atrocity even stronger,” the figure added. “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.”
The hacker said that the infamous group will use its cyber skills to "unite humanity" and said that terrorists should "expect massive cyber attacks."
Anonymous has targeted ISIS for a number of months following the attacks on the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and its hack of U.S. CENTCOM's Twitter account. The group has uncovered the Twitter accounts of ISIS members and hacked a number of the group's sites.
The hacktivist group has dismantled at least 149 of ISIS’s affiliated websites, flagged approximately 101,000 Twitter accounts and nearly 6,000 propaganda videos, U.S. magazine Foreign Policy estimates.
This story has been updated to clarify that the targeting of ISIS by Anonymous followed ISIS's attacks on Charlie Hebdo and U.S. CENTCOM's Twitter account.