Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | twitter | accounts | ISIS | Islamic State | 26 | 000

Cybersecurity Advocate Releases 26,000 Twitter Accounts Used by ISIS

By    |   Tuesday, 31 Mar 2015 01:48 PM

A cybersecurity advocate who previously worked with the hacktivist group Anonymous Tuesday morning released a list of more than 26,000 Twitter accounts that allegedly have links to ISIS, according to Medium.

The advocate, who works under the pseudonym Xrsone, said the accounts belonged to ISIS militants and supporters and encouraged readers to take a moment to view the accounts.

"I would like to ask each one of you to stop what you’re doing and take a few minutes to actually view some of these accounts. Every word, every image and video is designed to inspire hate," wrote XRSone, who compiled the list.

"This list provides insight into what is essentially the largest social media marketing campaign ever launched. The target audience is individuals with an unstable ideology, the product is depravity," he added.

Of the 26,374 accounts being tracked, 10,408 remain active, and more than 30 accounts had as many as 100,000 followers, according to the International Business Times, which was given access to the database.

Xrsone also circulated a list of a list of 9,200 similar accounts in the hope of getting Twitter to suspend the accounts.

"Massive ISIS account list of 9,200, help get them suspended and retweet!," the advocate urged in a March 15 tweet.

After conducting an independent analysis of at least 50 of the accounts released Tuesday, The Daily Caller reports that "conclusive evidence" exists that the accounts are maintained by supporters of ISIS.

Using a technology known as scraping, the advocates were able to pull links, phrases and keywords from confirmed propaganda accounts for comparison with other Twitter users, reports Newsweek.

"It's always important to say these aren’t the accounts of just ISIS militants; these are people promoting and supporting it. With a scraping tool, there will be a lot of false positives in the list academics, journalists, those interested in the topic," Patrick Skinner, director of special projects for the security intelligence agency Soufan Group, told the magazine.

The breadth of ISIS' reach on social media has increased over the last few years and the Islamic State used as many as 70,000 Twitter accounts in the last four months of 2014, according to a Brookings Institution report issued earlier this month.

The report, "The ISIS Twitter Census," determined that from October through November, at least 46,000 Twitter accounts were used by ISIS supporters, most of whom reside in territories controlled by ISIS.

Not surprisingly the report found that three quarters of the accounts supporting ISIS had designated Arabic as their primary language with nearly one in five ISIS supporting accounts designated English.

While suspending the accounts is the goal of cyber advocates, Brookings found that following an initial wave of suspensions in September 2014, thousands of new ISIS accounts were subsequently created to replace the suspended ones.

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A cybersecurity advocate who previously worked with the hacktivist group Anonymous Tuesday morning released a list of more than 26,000 Twitter accounts that allegedly have links to ISIS, according to Medium.
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2015-48-31
Tuesday, 31 Mar 2015 01:48 PM
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