The Islamic State continues to transfer its online activities due to the coronavirus pandemic. The terrorist group recently published the first issue of a new cybersecurity magazine to help its members learn more about cyber culture and help them guard intelligence agencies.
The Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, has always been active online. The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the group to increase the volume and intensity of online communications, for two reasons: first, to protect its members from the virus, and second to recruit young people who are increasingly dependent on the web due to mobility restrictions.
The Islamic State has therefore published the first issue of what appears to be a new magazine on cyber security. Reporter Bridget Johnson, currently editor-in-chief of Homeland Security Today, said earlier this week that the 24-page magazine is titled The Supporter's Security and is published in two versions, one in Arabic and one in language English.
Johnson reports that the new magazine is produced by Electronic Horizons Foundation (EHF), the wing of information technology pro-Isis. Since its appearance in 2016, the EHF has taken on the task of operating "as a sort of IT help desk" to help Islamic State supporters avoid online monitoring and surveillance by state agencies.
In its inaugural announcement, the EHF called on Islamic State supporters to "deal with electronic surveillance" and educate themselves on the "dangers of the Internet" so as not to "make mistakes that could lead to their detection and killing."
Since its establishment, the EHF has published a "cyber security bulletin " weekly, says Johnson, which consists of telling real stories related to cybersecurity.
The new EHF magazine is more complete and contains articles that guide supporters of the Islamic State in technical details on the safety to be adopted in the use of smartphones. For example, also remember to use desktop computers, rather than tablets or mobile phones, to conduct operational activities related to terrorism.
In a short editorial, the magazine reminds readers that they are "inside a fierce war", in which technological development is "led by polytheists", the term that Salafist jihadists use to refer to people they classify as unbelievers. and heretics. Another article urges Islamic State volunteers to avoid the Windows operating system, because it collects too much user data. On the contrary, they are encouraged to use alternative operating systems, such as Whonix, Tails o Qubes. There is also a "tutorial" on how to install the operating system Whonix on a personal computer.
In another article, the magazine instructs Islamic State volunteers to avoid "incorrect security practices", such as surfing the Internet without using anonymization software or downloading applications from untrusted sources. It also reminds readers to always encrypt their communications and safeguard the security of their storage devices, even if they are not connected to the Internet. The article ends with a quick reminder: do not use your real credentials when opening an account on social media.