GhostSec, an offshoot of Anonymous, replaced an ISIS website with an ad for an online pharmacy that reportedly sells Prozac and other drugs, making good on their promise to disrupt ISIS’ Internet activity.
In a statement accompanying the advertisement, GhostSec wrote, “Too Much ISIS. Enhance your calm. Too many people are into this ISIS-stuff. Please gaze upon this lovely ad so we can upgrade our infrastructure to give you ISIS content you all so desperately crave,” The Guardian reports. A banner ad below the statement links to CoinRx, a bitcoin pharmaceutical retailer.
The move took place on the Tor darknet after Anonymous and GhostSec successfully disrupted or completely shut down hundreds of ISIS websites on the open web. ISIS used the dark web to establish the new site, but GhostSec took it down earlier this week. When ISIS reinstated the site, the hacker group used a CoinRx ad to hammer home their message.
In the weeks since they declared war on ISIS, Anonymous has come under fire for going after all websites remotely connected with the organization. According to Mother Jones, GhostSec purposely splintered from Anonymous because they didn’t believe hacking could or should be done by untrained professionals. Speaking with the magazine, one GhostSec member, DigitaShadow, pointed out that innocent Muslim sites have been mistaken for ISIS sites and subsequently attacked.
"Their intentions are good, but the way they operate—decentralized, everybody does what they want and they all have different ideas, it makes it difficult. The government doesn't want to work with Anonymous," DigitaShadow said. Unlike their founding group, GhostSec reportedly cooperates with American officials so as not to interfere with ongoing terrorism investigations.
The criticism comes after Nov. 18, when Anonymous published three how-to hacking guides for anyone interested in helping their mission.
ISIS initially scoffed at Anonymous’ threats to undermine their presence on the Internet and especially on social media, calling the hackers “idiots.” “What [are] they going to hack?” they asked in a statement posted using the encryption app Telegram.
At least one faction of Anonymous has the answer.