A group of hackers credited with thwarting Islamic State (Isis) terror plots has launched a crowdfunding campaign to intensify its operations.
Ghost Security (GhostSec), an organisation loosely affiliated with hacktivist collective Anonymous, has mostly been involved with monitoring and taking down websites and social media accounts linked to IS. Earlier in July, it was revealed that the group had assisted in preventing terrorist attacks in New York and Tunisia.
"We are not funded by any organisation or government and rely on donations from supporters to continue our operations against the Islamic State," a member of Ghost Sec told IBTimes UK. "Before we set up this campaign I was funding this operation at my own expense. With the donations we aim to intensify our fight against the Islamic State and ultimately be able to capture more enemy intelligence."
GhostSec claims to have taken down more than 100 IS websites, as well as 57,000 IS social media accounts that were being used for recruitment and propaganda purposes. Information gathered by the group has been used by counter-terrorism experts to advise law-enforcement agencies and assist in disrupting IS operations.
Michael Smith, an adviser to the US Congress and co-founder of national security firm Kronos Advisory, told IBTimes UK earlier in July: "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.
"This data was collected pursuant to the group's efforts in monitoring social media accounts managed by suspected Islamic State supporters."
Almost a quarter of the $10,000 (£6,390) fundraising goal has already been donated through crowdfunding platform Crowdrise, mostly through small anonymous donations of between $10 and $50.
Donations received will go towards purchasing additional computers and servers in order to scale-up GhostSec's online monitoring of IS.
"With the current amount specified on our Crowdrise page, we would be able to significantly escalate our efforts to slow Islamic State online and detect more threats before they happen," the member of GhostSec said. "We believe in the people and their right to freedom without fear of judgment and persecution, We can save the lives of many and impact profound change."