On October 25, 2015, a group of five pro-ISIS online activists who have claimed responsibility for many cyber attacks launched an incitement campaign on Twitter and Telegram with the hashtag “France under Hacks”.
Graphics distributed on Twitter under the hashtag “France under Hacks”
The group members describe themselves as “official members of the elite section of the Islamic Cyber Army” and as “hackers for the Islamic State,” are active on Twitter and Telegram in both English and Arabic. On Twitter, they are subject to censorship by Twitter itself and to counter-propaganda efforts by anti-ISIS groups such as Ghostsec, but on Telegram the no-censorship policy enables them to disseminate their material freely. The group’s channel on Telegram called “Elite Section Of IS,” is currently followed by 700 people.
The group, which disseminates threats and encourages terror towards the West and international organizations like the U.N., is currently focusing on French interests and citizens, publishing information collected from open sources on potential targets for ISIS “lone wolves.” The designated targets include French administration, government and army personnel; as well as embassies. In a Telegram message, they encouraged others to spread their materials: “Disseminating the information we publish is very important, because the lone wolves are waiting. Enrage the disbelievers. Our accounts will be shut down in a few minutes so you must publish the information we published here on your own accounts.”
It should be mentioned that the nature and overall quality of the released information suggests that the group’s hacking abilities are not extensive; the threat they pose is mainly in spreading the ISIS message.
The following are some examples of the material released under the “France under hacks” hashtag.
On October 26, the group hacked the website of a French company (demdefrance.com), planting on its home page the following message in English: “Peace be upon those who follow guidance, we are the hackers of the Islamic State/Islamic cyber army and we love & support the Islamic State.
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