It’s been two days since the Paris attacks that claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent concert goers. The entire world stood still in silence for the first time since 9/11. Friends and family divided over the acceptance of Syrian refugees into the United States and other countries as a result of a coordinated ISIS attack meant to divide us and fill us with fear. Does that mean they are winning?
Anonymous says no, and they will hunt ISIS down to the end of the Earth.
As a former operative in the hacker/activist group myself, I knew just were to find the people lurking in the dark corners of the internet, and monitored their chat in real time as they took down website after website, which they claimed were used to recruit people to ISIS and spread propaganda to instill fear in those that seen it.
I spoke with a 19 year old American Anonymous hacker named “Vex” via IRC chat in the #OpParis channel using the handle “flyingnimjeh”.
[14:54] (FlyingNimjeh:) Okay. So you are a hacker/activist in OpParis correct?
[14:55] (Vex:) Yes you could say that.
[14:55] (FlyingNimjeh:) What made you get involved in OpParis?
[15:00] (Vex:) Well for around 2 months I was on OpIceIsis working on taking down, defacing Isis sites that would lead to the recruitment of vulnerable people. The night of the attack I was shocked and we all scrambled to the chat to figure out what was going on, we all sat in OpParis looking for leads to the attack, Isis people claiming responsibility and what not. I believe I got in OpParis because I suffer
[15:00] (Vex:) watching France go though isis attacks and other countrys. Im trying to do what I can from where I’m at.
Just one day after the attacks on Paris, Anonymous reportedly took down 3,824 ISIS Twitter Accounts.
I continued my interview with Vex, who claimed to have taken down 24 sites himself, defacing, or destroying the integrity and design of well over half.
[15:01 ] (FlyingNimjeh:) How many sites would you say that you have personally taken down or defaced in the name of the Anonymous operation?
[15:03] (Vex:) Overall I think on my own I have taken down around 20 sites and left around 14 defaced.
[15:05] (FlyingNimjeh:) Are you American? and how old are you? what do you think the age range of the operatives in this operation is?
[15:07] (Vex:) I myself am American. I am 19, but I believe the age range for this operation and most of our operations range from 16 or 17 to 36 or 40
Anonymous comes in all shapes and sizes, old and young alike participate in cyber-attacks, civil disobedience, and activism. During the OperationPayback campaign, people ranging in age from 20-60 years old were charged with participating in the distributed denial-of-service, or DDOS attacks of PayPal, MasterCard, and Visa in response to their attacks on WikiLeaks.
Vex went on to tell me what the goal of OpParis is, to him at least;
[15:09] What is the next big move for this operation? What is the end goal?
[15:14] Right now parts of the operation are to be kept silent about due to recent Isis hacks, but what I can say is we are working a huge, growing list of Isis social media accounts. Taking them off social media. End goal I would say Is take them off our internet and let it be known to them that recruiting people for isis through our web is not okay, and we will find every last one and expose them.
I continued to ask questions, wondering if any of these sites were based in the United States. Vex had resolved some of the registrar information and found that the majority of the ISIS websites they were targeting were protected by CloudFlare, a United States based company out of San Francisco, California, who has raised millions of dollars in mitigating DDOS attacks.
Vex informed me that despite their efforts at reporting the accounts to CloudFlare, the American company continued to protect the recruiting websites of ISIS.
[15:46] (FlyingNimjeh:) Have you uncovered any United States connections, or are any of the sites used to recruit being hosted in the United States?
[15:49] (Vex:) Yes, but very few. Most sites by Isis I have found to be hosted in Rome and France
[15:56] (FlyingNimjeh:) What connections?
[17:28] (Vex:) So far I cannot say we have found “connections” persay, although we are(America) shipping weapons to “guns for hire” but what I do know is that these Isis members are registering hosts with US servers
[17:31] (FlyingNimjeh:) do you have an example site with a US server?
[17:31] (Vex:) Let me see if I can dig one out of the wreckage for you.
[17:32] (FlyingNimjeh:) ok. imgur any screenshots of registrar information if you can
[17:37] (Vex:) Putting into Imgur now :)
[17:39] (Vex:) http://imgur.com/XCzMphR
[17:39] (Vex:) this is the sites adress: www.islamic-dw.com
[17:45] (Vex:) Also something might peak your interest here. CloudFlare is Protecting 70% of these sites AFTER reporting them.
Vex confirming that a United States company protecting ISIS assets may be a huge implication for the company, and it’s shareholders and business partners. Damning evidence that may skew the public as to who is on who’s side in the fight against terrorism.
I asked Vex if he has been involved in any other operations, and where he learned his skills before signing off.
[17:49] (FlyingNimjeh:) How did you learn your skillset? and have you been involved in any other operations?
[17:53] (Vex:) Since I was a young kid I was drawn to code, picked it up by myself I guess. Later on when anonymous hit big we started making tutorials for new members so they could help, thats when I got more developed in “hacking”. OpKKK, OpIceIsis, OpNimir, OpSandra, OpBaltimore, OpDeathEaters to name a recent few
[17:56] (FlyingNimjeh:) has cloudflare responded to anyones inquiry thus far as to why the continue to protect the websites of these extremists?
[17:56] (Vex:) No responce so far.
Vex confirmed that CloudFlare has not responded to any of the groups reports about ISIS websites under their protection.
I have placed a call to CloudFlare for comment, and was told they could not comment on the matter and to email [email protected] I am currently awaiting reply.