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This report covers the period of July - September 2015 and covers two main subjects: cyber-terrorism (offensive, defensive, and the media, and the main topics of jihadist discourse) and cyber-crime, whenever and wherever it is linked to jihad (funding, methods of attack).
The following are among the issues covered in this report:
Islamic State supporters continued to publish and distribute guidebooks and informational materials on the topic of information security and maintaining anonymity online: “personal computer security”, “smart phone security”, how to post informational material on Twitter using several accounts simultaneously, how to inspect files and links infected with viruses, how to open a Twitter account without a cell phone number, how to use encrypted email, and more.
During this period, we continued to see cooperation between players affiliated with the Islamic State, such as Cyber Caliphate, IS Hacking Division and ISIS Cyber Army, and hacker groups that began to identify with the organization. For instance, it was reported that a hacker named Ardit Ferizi stole personal details about US army and government personnel that he sent to members of the organization, who then leaked the information under the name “Cyber Caliphate”.
Members and supporters of the Islamic State continued to hack Web sites and social networks, and leak the information obtained. During this period, we witnessed a “spam campaign” – a virtual campaign that called on Islamic State supporters to report Twitter accounts belonging to opponents of the organization as spam in order to have them closed.
Web sites on the darknet were used by the Islamic State to transmit and publish guidelines for action, perhaps against the backdrop of the organization’s increased technical capabilities or as part of an effort to preserve the anonymity and security of the organization’s members in order to protect them from being discovered by the authorities and various security services.
During this period, and as part of a campaign by the coalition against the Islamic State, the Sawab Center was established for the purpose of disseminating messages against the organization. The center publishes its messages through, among others sources, a Twitter account with approximately 30,000 followers. Meanwhile, Europol launched the European Union Internet Referral Unit (EU IRU) to monitor terrorist propaganda, in order to identify and report such sites to service providers.