Cyber world of terrorists

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image-source: SITE Intelligence Group

The image above might look like a security guideline group mailed by HR. However, this honest attempt at instilling sense of “security” among its members is done by none other than ISIS. While Uncle Sam might have all the means to watch all of us, there is so much he can do. Even though the above image might be couple of years older but the facts are still unchanged as per the sources.

Some interesting facts about above picture:

1. iMessage was declared as Moderately SAFE by ISIS inspite of being one of most secure communication channel having end to end encryption

2. Though Telegram remains the most preferable application to communicate marked as SAFE. Though telegram took note of it and informed that they will look into the matter by reviewing the abuse reports, none of the actions taken has stopped ISIS to use the platform.

3. Whatsapp, having an end to end encryption as well nowadays has been marked as UNSAFE and still remains a bad choice to operate for the terror organisation, ISIS. Hike, Line and WeChate which are having popularity in the communication apps market also remains the UNSAFE.

Since the fall of ISIS, it has resorted to lone wolf type attacks. Gone are the days when you need to hijack a plane, ramming a truck over a crowd is enough to spread the dread. Probably that’s what make ISIS so different from its peers and predecessors.

Rightly so, advent of social media made it easy for it to lure youths into its fold. Else, nothing can be enough to explain someone leaving for Syria from comforts of a first world country. Some explanations do exist by social scientists to understand such mass movement of ISIS sympathisers, but that’s beyond the scope of a tech blog.

Closer to home, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh have been marred by terrorism with social media playing a crucial part in it. Though India’s social and religious cohesiveness turned out to be the benchmark for western countries. With barely 100 odd ISIS recruits from India it proved to the world, with community based initiative and proactiveness of security agencies it can be prevented.

Despite such efforts, it is noteworthy to mention that there has been instances of social media being used to brainwash youths.

"One Shafi Armar who was handling the media wing of ISIS had managed to recruit 17 people via social media. He had extensively used social media platforms starting from popular ones such as Facebook, Whatsapp to the lesser known ones Trillian, Chat Secure etc. One of the known modus operandi used by such organisations is to talent spot people who are susceptible to fall for propaganda on social media or instant messaging groups. Over the period of time they groom the gullible ones and gradually taking them into their inner circles of social media groups."

In Bangladesh, when a café in Dhaka was met with attacks by college going youths, it opened the eyes of sub-continent governments, since mass shooting is not an everyday affair.

Their job has become easier with the introduction of WhatsApp university where every message is a gospel of truth. The menace of fake news is well documented and in the era of post truth, it doesn’t really matter whether truth prevails or not.

Then comes the state sponsored ones, China and Russia come to mind every informed ones. While USA owns all of our data and applications, China owns all of our devices. The latest Huawei fiasco though has a political angle to it, however China’s capabilities in cyber domain cannot be understated.

References

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