Hacker group claims to hit 5,500 ISIS accounts

A man wearing a mask associated with Anonymous in a still image from a Nov 16, 2015, video.
A man wearing a mask associated with Anonymous in a still image from a Nov 16, 2015, video.REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The hacker group Anonymous claimed on Tuesday to have taken out 5,500 Twitter accounts linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, which claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks.

The loosely organised hacking collective made the claim in a tweet one day after launching #OpParis campaign, which stepped up an earlier effort to shut down social media accounts of the organisation.

"We report that more than 5500 Twitter accounts of #ISIS are now #down! #OpParis #Anonymous #ExpectUs," said a tweet posted on Tuesday, which followed a video message posted Monday.

It was not immediately clear how the accounts would have been disabled.

But the hacker group said it posted the accounts to an online forum labelling them as #daeshbags, a reference to Daesh, an Arabic acronym for the ISIS group.

In an apparent riposte, a message posted via the messaging service Telegram calls on Islamic State affiliates to secure their Internet communications.

"The #Anonymous hackers threatened... that they will carry out a major hack operation on the Islamic state (idiots)," the message said.

Anonymous has waged a long-running campaign against the Islamic State group but stepped up the effort following the attacks last Friday in the French capital.