We’ve seen our fair share or unusual Airbnb listings, some a lot more welcoming than others, but sleeping underwater in a giant fish tank that houses no less than 35 sharks is an extraordinary feat that deserves some recognition. This marks the world’s first underwater Airbnb in Paris, where a giant 360-degree glass wall is the only thing to separate you and a friend from 3,000,000 liters of water. And, yes, 35 sharks. More →
A report that preceded the horrific attacks on Brussels revealed that ISIS terrorists have been working to acquire materials to create so-called dirty bombs with the help of nuclear material. Meanwhile, the investigation into the Belgian explosion exposed more information about those plans. Apparently, the brothers who detonated home-made explosive devices at the airport and a metro station in Brussels were the ones who planted surveillance equipment outside the house of a nuclear physicist last year.
March 22nd, 2016, will be remembered as the day when attackers hit other targets in Europe, with bombs killing at least 13 people at the Brussels airport and injuring more than 30. In the U.S., March 22nd should have been the day of a terrorism-related court hearing in the FBI vs. Apple encryption battle, though that hearing is now postponed.
So does encryption protect terrorists who plan bombings such as the ones in Brussels, Ankara, Paris, and other cities? Yes, it probably does. But investigators in the Paris case have found out that it’s not encrypted iPhones or Android devices, and it’s not encrypted Internet services that helped attackers carry out a highly choreographed attack on the French capital. Instead, they used disposable, burner phones, which they kept changing on a regular basis.
French police managed to foil an imminent terror attack on Paris, arresting four suspects on Wednesday and seizing evidence suggesting an attack may have been planned. 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 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 →
Last week’s horrific attacks on Paris has everyone talking about safety, especially at a time when many people are planning trips for the upcoming holidays. Is it safe to travel? Should I postpone my flight? Do we have to avoid European regions that might be targets on ISIS’ agenda? If you’re asking yourself any of these questions, then ISIS’ mission is partly accomplished — the group means to instill crippling fear into us all.
However, that’s not the right path to take, and a French man who lost his wife, the mother of his 17-month-old boy, wrote a riveting response to ISIS. It’s easily the best one I’ve seen so far. More →
New reports detailing the activities of ISIS, which is responsible for the recent attacks on Paris, Beirut and for taking down a Russian passenger jet, reveal that the organization employs a 24-hour customer support service that can help out with various digital problems its members may have. The same tech-savvy group manning the round-the-clock service from locations around the world also created a manual the describes best-practices ISIS members should follow to thwart surveillance and hide their tracks online. More →
The terrorist attacks continue, with Mali’s capital Bamako now in the spotlight. Islamist gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Bamako on Friday, taking 170 hostages. More →
Some people suspect that the ISIS group involved in the November 13th attacks on Paris used encrypted apps and services to communicate, with Telegram being highlighted as one chat app that ISIS-affiliated members favor. However, there’s no official proof the attackers actually used encrypted devices and services to talk to each other when planning attacks.
Even so, after defending the right to guard the privacy of anyone using Telegram in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, the company has reversed its stance, announcing that it banned no less than 78 Telegram channels that belonged to ISIS. More →
French police and special forces conducted a massive raid in Paris’ suburb Saint-Denis in the early hours on Wednesday morning. Heavy gunfire and explosions were heard near an apartment building where individuals suspected of being linked to the Paris attacks were hiding, including the person who may have planned the November 13th assault on Paris. Two people died in the ensuing fight, including a woman who detonated a vest containing explosives, and the primary target of the attack.
Interestingly, the information that helped police conduct this particular raid and potentially avoid a second disaster in Paris came from an unencrypted, unlocked smartphone found in a dumpster near the Bataclan concert hall where terrorists killed 89 people on Friday. More →
McCain wants to legislate encryption even though there’s no evidence it helped ISIS in Paris attacks
While it’s suspected that encrypted communication services may have helped ISIS coordinate attacks on Paris, there’s no evidence to actually prove it. Even so, some members of Congress are already talking about legislating encryption, potentially requiring tech companies to include backdoors into encrypted products that could be used by spy agencies to prevent similar tragedies in the future. In fact, Senator John McCain already said he’s determined to outlaw encryption that the U.S. government cannot crack. More →