Islamic State Twitter accounts get a rainbow makeover from Anonymous hackers

Social media accounts associated with the group got an LGBT-friendly makeover courtesy of WachulaGhost

Anonymous has launched another wave of hacking attacks against Islamic State (Isis), taking over social media accounts associated with the group and giving them an LGBT-flavoured makeover.

The loose hacking collective, which grew out of the infamous 4Chan forum in the late 2000s, announced its war on Isis in 2015, taking control of almost 100 twitter accounts following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris that year.

Now, after the murder of 49 people in a gay club in Orlando, Florida, a hacker who goes by the name WauchulaGhost says he has taken control of more than 200 accounts belonging to Isis supporters. This time, rather than simply lock the users out of the accounts or report them to Twitter, the cybervigilante has given the accounts a gay-friendly makeover.

#Daesh in #Irag @dygft9uy4 Still remembering those we lost. #Orlando #OpDaesh #Anonymous #GhostOfNoNation

— WauchulaGhost (@WauchulaGhost) June 16, 2016

While some of the hacked accounts are now suspended by Twitter, three are still online, and apparently still under the control of WauchulaGhost. Speaking to CNN, he explained his motivation: “You had all those innocent lives lost. I just felt there’s something I could do against the Islamic State to defend those people.”

To start with, he posted explicit gay porn as well as the rainbow flags, but dialled back after hearing from people who supported the idea but not the practice. “There was a few of us … that discovered a vulnerability,” he told CNN. “We thought, ‘Hey let’s go start taking their accounts … and humiliating them.’”

It remains unclear whether such actions help the wider fight against Isis online. Supporters of the group are already used to having to rapidly switch accounts as they get suspended by social networks, and have well-developed systems in place for sharing the names of new accounts with old followers. Often, the user is back shortly after with a new digit added to the end of their name.

It’s likely to be more useful than the last Anonymous operation to target Isis, however, which involved spamming Isis-related hashtags with videos of Rick Astley’s song Never Gonna Give You Up.


Alex Hern

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Anonymous claims victory over jihadi Twitter accounts in #OpIsis
Hacker collective says it has taken control of almost 100 Isis-affiliated accounts and warns of more to come

Alex Hern

10, Feb, 2015 @9:57 AM

Article image
Anonymous-related Twitter accounts suspended after misogynist abuse
Hacktivist collective blames Labour MP Stella Creasy and Times columnist Caitlin Moran for the suspension of 30 accounts

Alex Hern

04, Dec, 2013 @12:26 PM

Article image
Anonymous target terrorist Twitter accounts after Charlie Hebdo attack
The hacker collective is targeting terrorist Twitter accounts, but #OpCharlieHebdo has been hijacked by infamous marketing hoaxer Rantic

Hannah Jane Parkinson

12, Jan, 2015 @12:52 PM

Article image
Anonymous 'at war' with Isis, hacktivist group confirms
#OpIsis, born in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo murders, stepped up following Paris attacks

Alex Hern

17, Nov, 2015 @12:19 PM

Article image
Anonymous hackers target Zimbabwe government over WikiLeaks
Cyber attacks follow Grace Mugabe's decision to sue newspaper for publishing allegations contained in US embassy cables

David Smith in Johannesburg

31, Dec, 2010 @3:15 PM

Article image
Fine Gael website targeted by Anonymous hackers
Ireland's main opposition party confirms that the personal details of up to 2,000 people have been compromised by the attack

Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent

10, Jan, 2011 @7:09 PM

Article image
Anonymous hackers release Bank of America emails
Emails obtained by someone claiming to be former bank employee appear to show improper sub-prime lending practices

Dominic Rushe in New York

14, Mar, 2011 @1:59 PM

Article image
Web services firm CloudFlare accused by Anonymous of helping Isis
Online hacktivist collective claims Isis-affiliated websites are using company’s services to protect against hacking attacks

Alex Hern

19, Nov, 2015 @9:33 AM

Article image
Anonymous swaps Isis propaganda site for Prozac ad in trolling fight
GhostSec Anonymous splinter group pulls Islamic State darknet offline replacing it with a pharmacy advert

Samuel Gibbs

26, Nov, 2015 @11:32 AM

Article image
Anonymous hackers breach San Francisco's Bart transport website
Hacking collective publishes details of 2,000 residents on Bay Area Rapid Transit site in latest standoff over freedom of speech

Josh Halliday

15, Aug, 2011 @11:31 AM