Islamic State (ISIS) has a 'Help Desk' for the terrorists to beat Western authorities' tight internet surveillance. The organisation has a subsidiary called Electronic Horizon Foundation consisting of cyber security experts to take charge of the 'Help Desk', according to this report by The Hill.
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMERI) said, "Earlier, Jihadis used to share information on password-protected forums. But it is alarming that they are now exchanging information on private and more sophisticatedly secure channels".
ISIS even has a 34-page guideline on encryption and a guide on how to securely exchange information. This guide instructs terrorists to avoid Dropbox and Instagram. It also advises using secure tools like iMesssage of Apple and Firechat or Truechat.
The manual recommends the use of several encrypted tools such as Tor browser, VPN services, and encryption tools. The original Arabic document which was translated into English by US military puts emphasis on using Twitter through secure channels.
According to The Hill's report, the EHF has taken a year's worth of effort. They operate on a secure Telegram channel but also have a presence on Twitter. The reason for the formation of EHF, according to an announcement translated by MEMRI, is as follows: "Due to the electronic war and tight surveillance imposed by the Western intelligence apparatuses over Internet users, and their tracking and following of the mujahideen and their supporters, and targeting them based on their data and information, which they share over the Internet.”
Hackers of the world have been trying to fight the cyber battle with ISIS for a long time. Hacker group Anonymous had declared a war against ISIS after the Paris attacks. In a video, they said that "We will take ISIS down to unite humanity".
Since then there have been several attacks by Anonymous such as taking down ISIS websites and replacing it with Viagra ads. They want to stop the communication ISIS carries out. Another group, Ghost Security Group (GhostSec), has been aiming to take out as many channels on social media as they can which are related to ISIS. They are more interested in collecting intelligence rather than carrying out attacks.
Recently, ISIS even built an encrypted messaging Android app for their internal communications.
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