According to information provided by anti-terrorist hacker group Ghost Security(GhostSec), close to 40 pro-ISIS websites are using the services of a Silicon Valley company called CloudFlare. CloudFlare is a content delivery network that provides services to speed up websites and render them virtually immune to distributed denial of service, or DDS, cyberattacks that can overload websites to bring them offline.
Among the sites, 34 are spreading propaganda, 4 are terrorist forums, and 2 offer technical services. A brief perusal of the sites showed they heap praise on ISIS, promote terrorist attacks, and some are used as chatrooms for extremists.
ISIS recruiters on social media often direct people to these websites, according to “WauchulaGhost,” a cyberoperations director with GhostSec.
GhostSec’s attempts to disrupt these sites have run into problems as ISIS recruiters have turned to Web services to block its efforts.
WauchulaGhost said CloudFlare hides the origin of the sites, and “with the site being ‘hidden’ it’s harder to be taken down, not only by us, but by our own government as well.”
Many online efforts used by ISIS go through open services, and this places providers of these services in a difficult spot. Sites like Google regularly index websites both good and bad, and ISIS terrorists can create new Facebook and Twitter accounts as quickly as they’re pulled offline.
According to CloudFlare spokeswoman Daniella Vallurupalli, they’re in a similar position. She said in an email that CloudFlare has more than a million customers, and close to 5,000 new sites register with its services each day.