Anonymous attacks Islamic extremist website over Charlie Hebdo attack


The Anonymous hacking group has reportedly brought down an Islamic extremist website as revenge for the Charlie Hebdo attack.

Although not officially claimed by the Anonymous, the imagery being displayed correlates with the masked figure traditionally used as a logo by the hacking collective.

The mission has been dubbed #OpCharlieHebdo and hopes to bring justice for last week's Paris attack by targeting Islamic extremists.

The first target was, a French jihadist website. The website was down for more than an hour and it is believed that Anonymous carried out a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, which floods the victim with fake traffic to make its servers crumble under the requests.

A press release, claiming to be issued by Anonymous, said: "It's obvious that some people don't want, in a free world, this sacrosanct right to express in any way one's opinions. Anonymous has always fought for the freedom of speech, and will never let this right [be] besmirched by obscurantism and mysticism.

"Freedom of speech and opinion is a non-negotiable thing, to tackle it is to attack democracy. Expect a massive frontal reaction from us because the struggle for the defense of those freedoms is the foundation of our movement."

Previously, high-profile websites have been subject to such attacks by Anonymous including Mastercard and PayPal, plus governmental organisations GCHQ, the Home Office and ICO.

Last summer, the group started its campaign against Islamic extremists, taking down Twitter accounts and preventing members communicating to protect the Western World.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.