OPSEC manual discloses how ISIS operates and protects their identities

By @preciousvsilva on
A customer holds an iPhone 6s
A customer holds an iPhone 6s during the official launch at the Apple store in central Sydney, Australia, September 25, 2015. Reuters/David Gray

Encryption has been a constant debate between the government and tech companies. The subject came under even more fire after Paris bombers supposedly coordinated attacks through encrypted messages. Now, Islamic State supporters are reportedly distributing a security manual, including using encrypted iMessage, to help other allies protect their identities.
 
Islamic State terrorist supporters have been reportedly issuing an operations security manual that advise recruits on how to protect their identities, according to Wired. Among the recommendations included, tips on using Apple’s encrypted iMessage come to light. The 34-page operational security guide found recently gives an insight on how the ISIS operates.
 
The guide was written one year ago by a Kuwaiti security firm called Cyberkov. The translated parts, according to Wired, originally offered details on how journalists and political activists in Gaza can protect their sources, their identities including the integrity of the information they report. In the long run, ISIS started using the guide for their operations.
 
The guide provides useful information on how to keep location data and communications private. It also discusses links to a number of privacy and security applications such as Tails operating system, Tor browser, Cryptocat, Wickr and Telegram encrypted chat tools. Details on ProtonMail and Hushmail were also included. The guide also notes how Gmail can be used securely if it is opened with fake credentials and virtual private network like Tor.
 
In the wake of the Paris attacks, investigators were able to find the hideout of other suspects, thanks to the mobile phone abandoned by one of the attackers. The police checked the phone's movements before the attack that led them to the hideout eventually. The suspects found in the hideout were the same ones reported dead following the raid last week. The US government goes as far to say that companies like Apple and Google have blood on their hands because of their encryption practices in place. 
 
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