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Anti-Terrorist Hacker Group Reveals 40 ISIS Websites Protected by US Tech Firm

The wide-open Internet serves each and every one including terrorists of the Islamic State.

EPOCH TIMES

 

Social networks and video hosting sites are widely used to agitate new members and paste agitprop material. Even more web services play a significant role in cyber attacks by providing incognito Internet surfing, planning cyberattacks and hiding their whereabouts.

As reported by anti-terrorist hacker organization GhostSec, 40 websites supporting ISIL are governed by a Silicon Valley Internet service CloudFlare which is designed to provide virtual medium which speeds up websites’ performance and makes them resistant to cyberattacks.

Out of 40 sites, 34 are distributing propagandist materials, 4 are hosting forums for extremists and 2 present technical help. A short overlook found out that overall at the sites ISIL and terrorism are worshipped, and the terrorists even have the opportunity to chat in private chatrooms.

A GhostSec director reports that people on social media are generally directed by recruiters to extremists’ websites; moreover, GhostSec has encountered several troubles trying to block these sites because ISIL agents in their turn try and hold up the efforts.

Due to the CloudFlare’s feature of “hiding” the whereabouts of the websites it is much more difficult to shut it down both for hackers and the government. Since ISIS uses free accessible services such as Facebook and Twitter, it is impossible to stop providing these services because large search engines index both good and bad websites, and new social media account might be created as soon as it was shut down. The aforementioned CloudFlare registers almost 5,000 new websites and more than a million customers use its services.

GhostSec is run under the Anonymous hacker aggregation and is trying to block the activity of ISIL by launching attacks against their sites and sharing snatched information on planned invasions with the authorities. Despite this, GhostSec denies their work for government and states that this is a free service that might be used to eliminate the existence of Islamic State extremists all over the world. The hacker collective has earlier helped overthrow planned attack of Islamic terrorists and possibly has stopped similar incident in NY.

The issue of CloudFlare policy is still overshadowed: it does not allow denying service for sites considering its content unless a legal order to do it. The CEO of the service stated in his blog that the political speech is sacred in the U.S. and a website is not more but speech. Matthew Prince, the CEO, has always been against censorship and since in his opinion, a website can contain absolutely any information, it is rather inappropriate to investigate speech that should be flowing freely through the Internet without any kind of monitoring.

Various hacker groups are trying to take charge of fighting digital extremism to stop development of propaganda by closely controlling terrorist recruiters and following their discussions and it becomes even more clear that ISIS-related websites are not only spreading political speech, but are advertising violence, which is very likely to result in deaths of the innocents.

The “OpISIS” campaign which is aimed to shut down terrorist websites struggles because the websites are covered by CloudFlare: it keeps cached version of the site and even if it is shut down the copy is still available on the CloudFlare’s servers. It was disclosed that ISIS extremists are even using CloudFlare’s paid premium services.

Since the attention paid to ISIL grows with every day it is very important to stop terrorists from sharing their beliefs and to make it more difficult for citizens to communicate with Islamic State affiliates, GhostSec spokesperson assumed.

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