Just days after the hacker group Anonymous pledged to hunt down Islamic State members and launch cyberattacks against their accounts, a separate group of techies claims it has identified a key funding avenue for the terror network – bitcoin accounts.
Ghost Security Group, a collective of computer “hacktivists,” says it has located several bitcoin accounts that ISIS uses to fund operations. One account contained $3 million worth of bitcoin, a GhostSec member told Michael K. Smith II, a co-founder of Kronos Advisory, a national security advisory firm.
GhostSec “wants to make an impact in counterterrorism,” Smith said, adding that the GhostSec member reached out to him because government officials were not paying close attention to the allegations.
Smith said U.S. counterterrorism officials are concerned that ISIS is acquiring gold and using numerous financial tools, including bitcoin, to tap into markets. A Treasury Department spokesperson said the agency couldn’t comment on accounts allegedly linked to terrorists unless the department has taken public action.
But bitcoin – an unregulated and virtually untraceable form of online currency that circumvents the traditional banking system – is on the government’s radar, since it could