A hacktivist group assisted in preventing terrorist attacks planned on the city of New York and Tunisia, the media reported on Thursday.
As reported by IBTimes (opens in new tab), a hacktivist group known as GhostSec helped thwart terrorist attacks planned by the notorious Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, sometimes also referred to as ISIL).
GhostSec is affiliated with Anonymous, the report claims.
Michael Smith, an adviser to the US Congress and co-founder of national security firm Kronos Advisory, revealed that information regarding potential attacks provided by the group GhostSec was used by law-enforcement agencies to disrupt IS operations.
"It is my understanding that data collected by the group, and presented to law enforcement and intelligence officials by me, was helpful to authorities in Tunisia, who disrupted a suspected Islamic State cell around 4 July," Smith told IBTimes UK.
"This data was collected pursuant to the group's efforts in monitoring social media accounts managed by suspected Islamic State supporters. As per their assessment, this plot would have been mobilised soon after the recent attack that occurred at a popular resort in Tunisia."
A member of GhostSec, going by the name DigitaShadow, explained that the group monitored social media and forwarded any information they believed to be relevant. The result is 17 arrests made in Tunisia earlier this month.
"GhostSec is constantly monitoring social media and the internet for threats against governments and its citizens," DigitaShadow told IBTimes UK. "On 2 July, we encountered an Islamic State account engaging in threats against tourists in Tunisia. They made references to a suicide bomber in an area near the Homut Souk market, which is a very populated area.”
"They also made direct threats against British and Jewish tourists, so we began looking for events near areas that those nationalities visited. We located two churches in the direct vicinity that were holding services where British and Jewish tourists frequented. We collected all of the relevant intel and evidence and forwarded it to the FBI through our government contact.”
"Two days later, we were debriefed that arrests had been made as a result of our intelligence."