New Terrorism and Technology Reports Released
October 11, 2016
Attempting to understand the level of threat a terrorist organization poses continues to be difficult. DefenseSystems.com published Report: Electronic jihad grows in sophistication, which shares the cyber-jihad survey from the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology. The authors of this survey present social media and other cyberspace tools to be “the great equalizer” in warfare. In addition to social media, there are a few hacker groups which have launched attacks on western websites and Arab media: the Cyber Caliphate, the dedicated hacker division of the Islamic State, and the Terrorist Team for Electronic Jihad. The write-up explains,
The cyber jihad survey notes that ISIS has mostly dedicated its expanding offensive cyber capabilities to specific social media accounts, including the Twitter and YouTube accounts of U.S. Central Command. Offensive capabilities are thought to include the use of malware, insider threats and “preconfigured tools.” Malware efforts have included spear-phishing emails containing malware designed to sweep up the IP addresses and geolocation data about anti-ISIS groups in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, Syria. As ISIS and other cyber-jihadists become more sophisticated and aggressive, experts worry that they will eventually attempt more audacious attacks.
However, a report from the federal government suggests ISIS’ Twitter traffic dropped 45 percent in the past two years. While terrorist group’s technology may be expanding in the arena of offensive strikes, officials believe the decline in Twitter popularity suggests recruitment may be slowing. We think there needs to more analysis of recruitment via Dark Web.