ATbar ICT Cyber-Desk Review: Report #18
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ICT Cyber-Desk Review: Report #18

23/01/2017 | by Cyber Desk  

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This report covers the period of July-September 2016, on 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 the main issues covered in this report:

Terrorist organizations continued to carry out propaganda activities and to disseminate messages aimed at supporters and potential recruits. The Islamic State focused on encouraging individual terrorist attacks in countries battling terrorism using the element of imitation – glorifying previous successful attacks, such as the attack in Nice, France. Al-Qaeda continued its efforts to expand the channels through which it distributes its messages, with emphasis on the Indian Subcontinent. It can be assumed that these efforts stemmed from, among other things, the growing competition between Al-Qaeda and the IS, which is losing strongholds in the battle arena in Syria and Iraq, and is therefore establishing main centers in other areas.

During the period under review, jihadist organizations in the Gaza Strip identified with the IS and Al-Qaeda focused on the Internet as a source of fundraising, while other organizations continued their fundraising efforts through more traditional channels.

Terrorist organizations were aware of preventative efforts by security agencies and major players on the Internet in general, and on social networks in particular, to remove jihadist content from their platforms. In response, these organizations continued to distribute defensive guidelines and instructions, and to expand their activities on the darknet where they claimed to be better able to protect traffic and anonymity.

Terrorist organizations continued their efforts to improve their offensive capabilities, but at this stage they did not reveal significant technological abilities in this area. Nevertheless, it should be taken into account that these organizations can hire external bodies, such as those who identify with terrorist ideas or organized crime, and can acquire such abilities from terrorism-supporting states.

During the month of July 2016, the GhostSquadeHackers group launched an offensive campaign titled, “OpReverseCaliphate” against IS-supporting hackers. The attack mainly targeted the United Cyber Caliphate group, which is identified with the IS and composed of several hacker groups.

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