ISIS turns to tech: 24-hour helpdesk, social media propaganda, and an eye on encryption

ow, a new report by NBC News states that tech-savvy ISIS has a 24 hour Jihadi help desk to recruit member and expand its footprint across the world.

In the wake of the recent Paris attacks, it's now clear that Islamic State has taken to use sophisticated and modern technology. Now, a new report by NBC News states that tech savvy ISIS has a 24 hour jihadi help desk to recruit members and expand its footprint across the world.

The report further adds that the help desk is being manned by about six senior operatives for 24 hours. It's to help would-be jihadist and other members use encryption and secure communication and evade detection by intelligence authorities and law enforcement members. ISIS is ramping up this platform, which is quite alarming, considering it will help jihadist across the world move around, execute their plan and form a larger network to plot attacks.

The report further discloses that help desk workers track new kinds of security software and encryption and build materials to train others on using them. "The CTC has obtained more than 300 pages of documents showing the help desk is training everyone from novice militants to the most experienced jihadists in digital operational security," the report says.

ISIS reportedly also distributes tutorials via Twitter and other social networking options. "And once the help desk operatives develop personal connections with people, ISIS then contacts them to engage them in actual operational planning – including recruiting, fundraising and potentially attacks," the report further adds.

Another report by TheIntercept reveals that the ISIS terror networks involved in the Paris attack were communicating through phones without encryption. A phone allegedly belonging to one of the attackers was found in trash outside the Bataclan concert hall and the investigators were able to access the data on the device including a map of the hall and SMS indicating they are starting.

This has also started building pressure on technology companies such as Apple, Google and others over letting law enforcement and intelligence agencies access encrypted devices. In the past, companies such as BlackBerry have to deal with law enforcement agencies wanting access to the unique encryption systems that secured communication. In fact, during the London riots of 2011, BlackBerry Messenger was heavily used to plan attacks, and enforcement agencies struggled to gain access to conversations.

In a report in The Intercept, Paris attacks mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud is seen wearing a GoPro camera. The high affinity towards technology is rather unnerving. However, with hacking groups such as Anonymous joining on the same side as enforcement agencies, we hope the rise of technologically-inclined terrorism groups is arrested.

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