ISIS reported to be operating a secure helpdesk to assist operatives in using secure communications

News by Roi Perez

In a new report by NBC, it has been reported that ISIS is running a secure help desk to assist its operatives in using encrypted communications.

According to US Army Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) analyst Aaron F Brantly, this is a growing trend for ISIS and and has increased in popularity considerably over the past year.

Allegedly run by six operatives, the help desk trains other ISIS operatives in how to use whichever messaging system is the flavour of the month, and presumably best practices to evade government surveillance.

"They've developed a series of different platforms in which they can train one another on digital security to avoid intelligence and law enforcement agencies for the explicit purpose of recruitment, propaganda and operational planning," Brantly told NBC. "They answer questions from the technically mundane to the technically savvy."

According to Brantly, those operating the helpdesk are located around the world and are required to have a minimum university education level in tech, but they do allow others to answer questions to give the illusion of a 24/7 operation.

Reportedly, if the jihadis do manage to become better at security and IT, they climb up ranks in the organisation and are introduced to more senior individuals who provide more formal training.

The report suggests that common advice given to operatives is warning of opening suspicious links and suggesting regular IP address shuffles.

Help desk admins are also warning of the current wave of attacks in retaliation for the Paris attacks from the Anonymous hacking group, organised through the @opparisofficial Twitter handle.

The hacking group is taking taking much pride in stopping ISIS Twitter accounts and claims to have done so for more than 5,000 accounts by reporting them to the social network.

In the wake of the Paris attacks, encryption has come under fire as news emerges that it may otherwise have been possible for French security forces to stop the attack, but couldn't do so as the ISIS operatives in question were using secure communication methods.


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