The group of hackers known as Anonymous have declared a war on Islamic extremists after the attack on Paris-based satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo last Wednesday. Anonymous, announced their operation, codenamed #OpCharlieHebdo, on Wednesday after the attack took place. A Twitter account with the same codename, @OpCharlieHebdo, shared a video about the operation on Saturday; it also paid a tribute to the people who were killed in the attack; the ten magazine workers and the two police officers.
Anonymous have claimed that on the Saturday after the attack, they have hacked the website ansar-alhaqq.net. Back in 2013, newspapers in France described it as a French jihadist website.
Ansar-alhaqq.net was down for more than an hour after Anonymous’ announcement, but had returned online later.
It has not been made know the method that enabled the take down to occur on the site, but Anonymous’ usual method is a cyberattack known as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), which consists of inundating a website with traffic. It is widely understood that this kind of attack is not extremely sophisticated, but it is effective.
In fact, DDoS attacks can be extremely effective. Major websites, such as those of PayPal and Mastercard, have suffered downtime due to these sorts of attacks in the past.
There was also another Anonymous member, from Belgium, who published a video in support of #OpCharlieHebdo on Thursday. This once again proves just how structureless and loosely associated the collective actually is. However, #OpCharlieHebdo has not yet received any endorsements from the well-known Anonymous Twitter account @YourAnonNews.
The group’s #OpCharlieHebdo press release said, ”It’s obvious that some people don’t want, in a free world, this sacrosanct right to express in any way one’s opinions. Anonymous has always fought for the freedom of speech, and will never let this right besmirched by obscurantism and mysticism…Expect a massive reaction from us, because this freedom is what we’ve been always fighting for.”
[Image via maxisciences]