Twitter on Friday offered some interesting new information about its efforts to fight against terrorist organizations such as Islamic State, as the social networking site revealed that it has shut down over 125,000 different accounts related to terrorism since mid-2015. This sort of effort is important because ISIS in particular has proven very adept at using Twitter and other forms of social media to reach prospective recruits. More →
The terrorists who make up Islamic State are nothing if not creative. Sky News this week received some video footage showing a secret ISIS “terror lab” where various jihadis are testing out some experimental weapons that they’ll hopefully never get the chance to use on real people. Let’s go through some of the scariest weapons seen in the ISIS weapons lab video. More →
Officials involved in the ongoing investigation of the horrible ISIS attacks on Paris from mid-November have told the media that suspects have likely used encrypted apps. More →
The FBI and other law enforcement and intelligence agencies would like Silicon Valley firms to give them a “backdoor” to encryption to help better monitor the communications of suspected terrorists. Major tech companies such as Apple and Google have so far resisted such calls, however, as they argue persuasively that breaking encryption would do more long-term harm than it would do good. However, David Talbot of Technology Review also makes the case that Facebook and Google can do more to combat ISIS’s online influence in ways that don’t involve compromising their users’ security. More →
The FBI is still banging the drum for tech firms to give it a “backdoor” to encrypted devices and this time it’s offered a clear explanation of how encryption is preventing law enforcement from conducting certain investigations related to terrorist attacks. More →
To call the Anonymous cyber war on ISIS ineffectual would be an understatement. First the hacking group provided Twitter with several “wildly inaccurate” lists of supposedly ISIS-related accounts. They then frightened Americans by claiming that a series of coordinated attacks (which never came to fruition) would take place in late November.
Despite what seemed to be good intentions, the group simply wasn’t doing any good. But despite some notable failures, Anonymous might finally have a plan we can all get on board with.
There’s nothing like a terrorist attack to make government officials seemingly lose their senses and propose bad ideas. The recent horrific ISIS related terrorist attacks in Beirut, Paris, San Bernardino and elsewhere have created an understandable sense of fear among people who worry that they too could be gunned down by a fanatic Islamic fundamentalist while attending an office party or eating out at a restaurant. At the same time, it’s useful to not completely overreact to terrorist attacks by proposing ideas that would do long-term harm to our free societies. Let’s go over some of the worst technology-related proposals we’ve seen below. More →
President Barack Obama all but called out encryption in a 15-minute Address to the Nation speech on Sunday night. The President touched on various subjects related to the recent terrorist attacks, explaining what the U.S. is doing to prevent similar tragedies in the future. Part of the country’s strategy against ISIS involves the ability of intelligence agencies to spy on potential suspects, though Obama didn’t explicitly mention encryption in his speech. Similarly, he did not call out any specific tech companies that currently encrypt their software or online services. More →
The war on terror is also fought online, where hackers are targeting the ISIS online presence to limit its ability to recruit members to its cause. But it’s not just hackers and volunteers that get the job done. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, are actively helping law enforcement agencies fight against the online ISIS movement. But they’re doing it covertly, a new report reveals, both to prevent the public from getting the wrong impression, but also to avoid alerting ISIS about what’s done to put a stop to extremism online. More →
The Anonymous hackers collective declared war on ISIS immediately after the Paris attacks earlier this month. In the days that followed, Anonymous took out thousands of Twitter accounts belonging to the group and also issued warnings about imminent attacks, but that info apparently wasn’t accurate. Anonymous isn’t the only hacker group fighting ISIS right now, and while Anonymous’ efforts might not seem that effective, a person familiar with the group’s efforts explained what’s actually happening behind the scenes. More →
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. More →
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, certain hacker groups have declared a digital war on ISIS, with mixed results. But it looks like a hacker had been helping the FBI track and hunt down hackers with alleged ISIS ties even before the Paris attack in mid-November. A former member of the Rustle League hacker collective confessed on Twitter that he recently assisted the FBI, with his actions resulting in a bombing that left one prominent ISIS hacker dead. More →
There’s no doubt in anybody’s mind that the ISIS attacks on Paris were carefully planned and executed, with some degree of sophistication involved, at least when it comes to avoiding intelligence agencies. Immediately after the tragedy that hit France in mid-November, many speculated that terrorists relied on encrypted devices and apps to thwart detection, although that hasn’t been proved so far. Moreover, reports picked up by the media revealed that ISIS might have an advanced support team in place, that would offer its members round-the-clock guidance when it comes to the digital aspect of their operations.