Islamic State opens 'help desk' for terrorists on how to evade surveillance

Washington: Islamic State has reportedly opened a new technical "help desk" that instructs terrorists on how to evade electronic surveillance and prevent them from committing security mistakes that could endanger their lives.

Islamic State opens help desk for terrorists on how to evade surveillance

Representational image. Reuters

The Electronic Horizon Foundation (EHF) was launched on 30 January as a joint effort of several of the top Islamic State cyber security experts, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) said in a new report.

While researchers have previously uncovered an Islamic State "help desk" and 34-page manual that help extremists encrypt their communications, MEMRI said the EHF takes these services to a new level.

"Jihadis have long sought technical information, which has been confined in the past to various password-protected jihadi forums," The Hill quoted the MEMRI report as saying.

"However, the freedom and ease by which they can now obtain that information is alarming, especially when such information is shared over private and secure channels," it said.

The EHF operates on the encrypted messaging platform Telegram but also maintains a Twitter account that disseminates information and directs followers to its secure Telegram channel, the report said.

The group's self-stated goal is clear, "Spreading security and technical awareness among the monotheists."

According to an announcement celebrating the EHF launch, Islamic State has spent a year establishing the group with the goal of "unifying the technical and security efforts, and uniting the ranks" of the jihadists.

It brings together several technical support entities, such as the Information Security channel on Telegram and the "Islamic State Technician," an Islamic State security specialist thought to be behind a leading password-protected technical forum.

EHF has pledged to provide resources to help jihadists combat this surveillance.

"It is time to face the electronic surveillance, educate the mujahideen about the dangers of the Internet, and support them with the tools, directives and security explanations to protect their electronic security, so that they don't commit security mistakes that can lead to their bombardment and killing," the announcement said.


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Updated Date: Feb 11, 2016 20:37:23 IST

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