Anonymous mocks Trump amid ongoing campaign against ISIS
'Hacktivists' take on Republican front-runner over proposed Muslim immigrant ban
Anonymous hackers have been on a mocking spree to reduce ISIS's ability to operate online — a project that includes attacking Donald Trump for racist comments and insulting ISIS's social media accounts.
Anonymous, a "hackivist" group, launched both campaigns with the intent of challenging its targets' legitimacy online, although the larger brunt of these attacks appears to be against ISIS.
The first campaign, called OPTrump, claimed to take down the Republican U.S. presidential candidate's New York Trump Tower website for more than an hour Thursday night, according to the International Business Times.
Trump Towers NY site taken down as statement against racism and hatred. <a href="https://t.co/n5ftLrOs1P">https://t.co/n5ftLrOs1P</a> (what you see is cloudflare offline backup)—@YourAnonNews
A distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack hit the website, making it unavailable. Akin to online vandalism, DDOS attacks are common means for hackers, including Anonymous, to target figures in the real world.
A Twitter user posted an image supposedly midway through the attack.
<a href="https://t.co/AhA1CqdXPt">https://t.co/AhA1CqdXPt</a> nearly down. we need more laz0rs! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DDoS?src=hash">#DDoS</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OpTrump?src=hash">#OpTrump</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OpFire?src=hash">#OpFire</a> <a href="https://t.co/L6mKFMpFzF">pic.twitter.com/L6mKFMpFzF</a>—@FibsFreitag
Anonymous declared in a YouTube video that the campaign was in response to comments made by Trump for a "complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."
"This is what ISIS wants. The more Muslims feel sad, the more ISIS feels that they can recruit them — the more United States appears to be targeting Muslims, not just radical Muslims," the masked Anonymous representative says in the video. "You can be sure that ISIS would put that up on their social media campaign."
The latter comment fits with the second campaign, in which anonymous hackers asked for everyone online to mock ISIS on Friday. The group posted a note online giving people instructions for how exactly to go about the lampooning.
Called #TrollingDay, it encourages people to call ISIS Daesh, an insulting nickname for the group based on its Arabic acronym, or Daeshbags.
Happy <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ISISTrollingDay?src=hash">#ISISTrollingDay</a> everybody! It's raining trolls for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Daeshbags?src=hash">#Daeshbags</a> today! <a href="https://t.co/k5rlvIpkXW">pic.twitter.com/k5rlvIpkXW</a>—@GlennHmbrg
Another tactic is to make parody videos and photos related to ISIS, such as photoshopped images that make ISIS look ridiculous.
Cooking class with the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Daeshbags?src=hash">#Daeshbags</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TrollingDay?src=hash">#TrollingDay</a> <a href="https://t.co/RB4PHwj8qe">pic.twitter.com/RB4PHwj8qe</a>—@LatestAnonNews
The squad <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TrollingDay?src=hash">#TrollingDay</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Daeshbags?src=hash">#Daeshbags</a> <a href="https://t.co/M0HbGDErBM">pic.twitter.com/M0HbGDErBM</a>—@AnonDevastation
It's already December 11 in some parts of the world, so I'm going to kick things off. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TrollingDay?src=hash">#TrollingDay</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Daeshbags?src=hash">#Daeshbags</a> <a href="https://t.co/uZB9NI30J2">pic.twitter.com/uZB9NI30J2</a>—@BackslashAnon
These campaigns appear to have had mixed results. While the Trump Tower site has come back up, Anonymous has continued to mock Trump through social media.
Trump has not publicly acknowledged the effort against him.
As for their plans against ISIS, a national security analyst at The Clarion Project, a non-profit group that aims to expose Islamic extremist, says that these attacks have made it harder for the organization, but have also driven the militant group's social media recruitment to other services.
"It does frustrate their ability to communicate with each other, to recruit and everything, but they're all moving off of Twitter," Ryan Mauro told the Daily Dot.
According to Mauro, ISIS is transitioning from Twitter to services like Tumblr and Twitter's Russian equivalent, VK.